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Voter Information

Voting in Ohio
Voting is a privilege granted to every citizen of the United States. This privilege allows us to cast a ballot for levies, ballot initiatives, elected officials and changes in local and state law. Voting eligibility varies from state to state but it is incumbent upon every citizen to know their voting rights, especially if they are convicted of a felony crime, incarcerated for a felony crime or later released from jail or prison.

Ohio has progressive voting laws, allowing individuals in pretrial detention or individuals released from prison to vote. Individuals held in municipal and county jails, and who have not been convicted of a felony crime, can still vote by updating their voter registration (if necessary), completing a voter registration form (if a new voter), and requesting form 11-F, “Application for Absent Voter’s Ballot by Confined Voter or a Voter With a Personal Illness, Physical Disability, or Infirmity.” For more information about voting while in pretrial detention and other voter eligibility requirements, read below:

Voting in Jail
If a voter meets all eligibility requirements and is in pretrial detention including awaiting trial, being held on bond or for a misdemeanor crime, or for certain other circumstances, they are eligible to vote. A voter can update their voter registration, if previously registered, sign up to become a new voter and request to have their ballot delivered to the jail if they will be confined on Election Day.

To request for a ballot to be sent to the local jail, a detained voter must complete form 11-F here. A family member can also print off the form from home, request it from their local Board of Elections or ask their public library to print a copy. After obtaining the form, the voter should thoroughly read and complete each of the required sections, such as voter name, date of birth, address which they are registered to vote, ID, and other information. Only registered voters can use form 11-F.

Once completed, the form should be returned to their county Board of Elections (e.g. the local BOE in the county where their address is registered). The county BOE is required to send the absentee ballot to the jail, check with your local jail to determine how ballots will be delivered on or before Election Day. For more information, you can also call your BOE by using the County Boards of Elections Directory.

Voting Eligibility Requirements:

To vote in Ohio, you must meet the following requirements:
  • Be a citizen of the United States; 
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the next general election; 
  • If a voter will be 18 on or before the general election, they may vote in the primary election to nominate candidates, but they cannot vote on issues or party central committees until the age of 18. 
  • Be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote; 
  • Not currently incarcerated in jail or prison, including a local or municipal jail, state or federal prison; 
  • Not declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; 
  • Not permanently disenfranchised for violating election laws. 

Note: Individuals released from prison or jail, after completing a felony sentence only, must re-register to vote. Individuals serving time for a misdemeanor will not have their voter registration revoked, but must request a voter absentee form if they will remain incarcerated on Election Day. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison, and all people on parole or probation can vote. However, a new felony conviction can invalidate a voter’s registration. For more information about Ohio’s voting laws and residency requirements for the purposes of voting, read here.