Registration

Do you have to be registered to vote?

Yes, except for members of the armed forces serving on active duty. Their spouses and dependents are also exempt if they left Ohio to be near the service member.

How can I register?

  • By mail on a registration form (call the Board of Elections office to have a form mailed)
  • At any county board of elections
  • Online at www.MyOhioVote.com or click on the link on any page on this website (“Online Voter Registration” on the right hand side of the page)
  • At any public high school or vocational school
  • At the office of any Bureau of Motor Vehicles
  • At offices of designated agencies which provide public assistance or disability programs
  • At any public library
  • At the Clerks of Courts Title Dept or the County Treasurer’s office (both in the courthouse)
  • Mailed registration forms sent to a county board of elections or the Secretary of State’s office must be postmarked 30 days before an election to be valid for the election.

Registration forms not mailed in must be received by a board of elections, the Secretary of State’s office, office of any Bureau of Motor Vehicles or designated agencies 30 days before an election to be valid for the election. You will be notified by mail, from the Board of Elections, of your new polling place. Please allow four weeks for the notification.

Do I ‘declare’ my party affiliation when I register?

No.  Your party affiliation is determined by the ballot you request at a Primary Election.  The Primary Election is when two Democrats,  two Republicans or two running against each other in the same party are running for the same office.  So the ballot you request in a primary will have two candidates in the same party; thus, giving you party affiliation to that party.  Whichever candidate wins the Primary Election, goes on to the General Election in November to run against the person(s) of an opposite or different party.  Your political affiliation remains with you and stays the same or changes, based on which ballot you request at every Primary Election.  If you wish to have no party affiliation, you would request an ‘issues only’ ballot at a Primary Election.  An ‘issues only’ ballot (if available in your precinct) would have local issues; such as a school board levy or township bond issue.  No candidates are on an ‘issues only’ ballot, BUT if you request a party ballot to vote on candidates, any issues in that precinct WILL be also be on the party ballot.

What if I change my address or name?

If you are now registered and move within the state or same county or change your name, you must change it at the board of elections. You may report the change:

  • Online at www.MyOhioVote.com 
  • By mail on a registration form (call the Board of Elections office to have a form mailed)
  • At any board of elections office
  • At any public high school or vocational school
  • At any Bureau of Motor Vehicles location
  • At offices of designated agencies which provide public assistance or disability programs
  • At any public library
  • At the Clerks of Courts Title Dept or the County Treasurer’s office (in the courthouse)
  • By completing a notice of change in voting status and filing it with the court when you apply for a marriage license or when your name is changed by court order

When do forms need to be returned?

Mailed forms sent to a county board of elections or the Secretary of State’s office must be postmarked 30 days before an election to be valid for the election.

Forms not mailed in must be received by the board of elections, the Secretary of State’s office, office of any Bureau of Motor Vehicles or designated agencies 30 days before an election to be valid for that election.

If you have any questions, please call the Board of Elections – 419/898-3071 or toll free at 800/697-9807 [if calling from a regular phone in Ottawa County (not cell phone)].

Registration closes 30 days before each election.