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Voting 101


Voting at the polls on Election Day

Hamilton County is divided into precincts for voting. You are assigned a precinct based on your residence (street name, house number, zip code). When you submit a completed Voter Registration/Information Update Form to the BOE (or complete an online voter registration or address change) you will receive a confirmation in the mail with your precinct name and your polling place.


Where do I vote on Election Day?

On Election Day, you must cast your ballot in your precinct at your designated polling place between the hours of 6:30am and 7:30pm. If you do not know where your designated precinct or polling place is located, please call 513-632-7000. You can also click the 'Where Do I Vote?' button on this website to find your precinct and polling location.


How do I vote BEFORE Election Day?

You can vote early (also called absentee voting) in person at the Hamilton County BOE, or by mail, up to 28 days before Election Day (see exceptions for Military and Overseas voters). Any registered voter in Hamilton County can vote early or absentee. See Vote By Mail-Absentee and Vote In-Person-Absentee sections for details.


Will I need an ID to vote?

Yes. All voters in Ohio must bring one form of acceptable identification to the polls in order to verify their identity. Acceptable identification includes any ONE of the following:

  • A current (not expired) and valid photo identification card issued by the State of Ohio or the U.S. government (includes Ohio Driver License or Ohio ID Card); or
  • A current (not expired) military identification ('military ID'); or
  • A current* utility bill (includes cell phone bill), an original or copy; or
  • A current* bank statement, an original or copy; or
  • A current* government check, an original or copy; or
  • A current* paycheck, an original or copy; or
  • A current* other government document**, an original or copy.


*dated within last 12 months and shows voter's name and current address.


**does NOT include a voter registration acknowledgement notification mailed by the board of elections.


A voter presenting an Ohio driver license or Ohio ID card that shows voter's former address is permitted to cast a regular ballot so long as the voter's current residential address is printed in the official poll list of registered voters for that precinct.


Voters who do not provide any ONE of these documents at the precinct will still be able to voter using a provisional ballot. Voters who do not have any of the above forms of identification, including a Social Security number, will still be able to vote by signing an affirmation statement swearing to the voter's identity under penalty of election falsification and casting a provisional ballot.


Remember to bring appropriate ID to polls (Ohio Secretary of State website)


How do I mark my ballot?

Instructions for marking and casting your ballot are posted in each polling place. If you have questions about how to mark or cast your ballot, or if you have incorrectly marked a ballot, immediately contact a precinct election official for instructions before you continue. Hamilton County uses a paper ballot where you fill in each box of your choice with a blue or black pen.


Hamilton County's voting equipment

Link to voting equipment page on this website.


May I receive assistance in voting?

A voter with a physical or mental disability, or a voter who is unable to read or write, may be assisted by anyone of the voter's choice, except a candidate whose candidacy is being voted on in that precinct, the voter's employer or the employer's agent, or an officer or agent of the voter's union. A voter may be assisted by two poll workers (each of a difference political party). No one who assists a voter may disclose any information about how that person voted.


In addition each polling place has a Disabled Access Unit (eSlate/DAU) that is equipped with audio voting instructions, has larger print, tactile switches, and can accommodate sip-and-puff devices so voters may vote privately and independently.


If you cannot get out of your car to vote at your polling location, you can request poll workers provide a ballot curbside and vote from your car.


Voter Access Guide for Voters with Disabilities (PDF)


New Accessible Voting Equipment (Access Station) (PDF)


I am not registered at my current address


If you are already registered to vote in Ohio but have moved and/or changed your name, you must update your voter registration by submitting a new Voter Registration/ Information Update Form (PDF) for your new residence and/or name. Updating your address can also be completed online through this link.


If you have missed the registration deadline for the current election (30 days prior to Election Day) you may vote a provisional ballot BEFORE Election Day at the Board of Elections, OR at your new precinct ON Election Day.

Note: If you vote a PROVISIONAL BALLOT, YOU MUST DO SO FROM THE PRECINCT FOR YOUR CURRENT ADDRESS, YOUR BALLOT WILL NOT BE COUNTED IF YOU VOTE IN ANY OTHER PRECINCT. To find out the precinct for your current address click here, or contact the Board of Elections at 513-632-7000.


What is a provisional ballot?

A provisional ballot is used to record a vote if a voter's eligibility is in question and the voter would otherwise not be permitted to vote at his or her polling place. The content of a provisional ballot is no different from a regular ballot, but it is cast 'provisionally' until election officials can verify the voter's eligibility to vote in the particular precinct at that election. All validly cast provisional ballots are counted in the Official Count in each election.



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