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How to Register, Vote and Track Your Ballot in Ohio

2023 Ohio General Election
The 2023 general election will take place Nov. 7. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The last opportunity to vote early in person at your county board of elections is Nov. 5 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. If voting absentee, mail your ballot postmarked by Nov. 6. You can also return your ballot to your board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. You can track your ballot at

En español | Ohio offers several ways to register to vote, and all registered voters are eligible to get an absentee ballot.

Local races and issues vary by community and precinct, so consult with your county board of elections to determine what may be on your local ballot. The next statewide elections are in 2024.

Essential info:

  • Upcoming elections: Information about upcoming elections is available on the Ohio elections website.
  • Absentee voting: Ohio offers absentee voting without a reason, which means all registered voters can apply for and receive an absentee ballot. Absentee ballot applications must be received no later than seven days before an election.  
  • Voting at the polls: You must bring a personal ID with you to the polls, such as a driver’s license or state or military ID. Find a list of approved IDs on the state elections website.

Have there been recent changes to voting in Ohio?

A law signed in January has changed voting in Ohio in several ways, including:

  • Voters now must show a valid photo ID when they vote at the polls, such as an Ohio driver’s license, state ID, U.S. passport or U.S. military ID. Note that a utility bill, bank statement, government check, concealed carry permit or other similar government document are no longer considered valid forms of ID. Voters can get a free state ID card at any BMV deputy registrar license agency in Ohio. Here's what you will need for documentation.
  • The deadline to request an absentee ballot is seven days before an election. Previously, it was three days. 
  • Your county board of elections now must receive your absentee ballot by mail no later than four days after an election. But your absentee ballot still must be postmarked by the day before an election. 

Also, Ohio finalized its U.S. congressional and state legislative maps in 2022 as part of the most recent redistricting cycle. New district boundaries may change which candidates appear on your ballot. Locate your district on the state elections website, where you can find the latest congressional and state legislative maps.

Voters Across The Country Head To The Polls For The Midterm Elections
Voters cast ballots at a polling place in Kent.
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

How do I register to vote?

  • Online: Use the state’s voter registration portal to register, check the status of your application or update your registration. You may also register or update your personal information while applying for or renewing your Ohio driver’s license. You’ll need a state driver’s license or Ohio identification number to register online.

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote?

To vote in Ohio's primary elections, you must designate a political party. You can request the party ballot you prefer during any primary and can only vote on that party’s ballot. If you choose not to declare a party, you are considered an unaffiliated voter and are only eligible to vote on issues initiatives in a primary.

How can I get an absentee ballot?

All registered voters can vote absentee without providing a reason. Request an absentee ballot by mail, by phone or in person.

  • In person: Visit your county boards of elections during office hours to request an application. A directory with office hours is available on the state elections website.

Completed absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than one day before Election Day and received by your county board of elections no later than four days after the election. Absentee ballots can be returned in person to your county board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Each county also has one ballot dropbox available outside the county board of elections office. Ballots must be returned to your county boards of elections office, not your polling station.

Can I track my absentee ballot?

Track your ballot on the state elections website.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, early voting is offered at your county board of elections office. More information about locations and hours is available at the secretary of state’s website.

What do I need to know about voting at the polls on Election Day?

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Find your polling place on the Ohio elections website.

Do I need identification to vote?

Yes. Under a new law, you must bring a photo ID with you to the polls, such as a valid Ohio driver's license, state ID, U.S. passport or U.S. military ID. The new law no longer allows you to use a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or other document with your name and current address as a valid form of ID. A complete list of acceptable IDs is on the state elections website

If you do not have an acceptable ID, you may provide either your Ohio driver’s license number or state identification number (which begins with two letters followed by six numbers) or the last four digits of your Social Security number and cast a provisional ballot. Your ballot will be counted after your information is verified by state elections officials. If you don’t have the above information, you can still vote using a provisional ballot, but you must return to your board of elections office four days after Election Day with an acceptable form of ID to have your ballot counted.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Aug. 9, 2023. The guide was first published on July 28, 2020. 

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