Cincinnati’s 2021 general election is shaping up to be a doozy and will effectively change the city’s entire leadership. Voters will decide who will launch the city’s next era as mayor while also filling nine Cincinnati City Council spots from among 35 candidates.
Voter registration has closed for the Nov. 2 general election. (To double-check your registration status, visit votehamiltoncountyohio.gov/check-registration-status.) Those who are registered to vote have a couple ways to make their voice heard.
Early Voting and Mail In
Early voting at the Hamilton County Board of Elections (BOE) office at 4700 Smith Road has begun for those who are registered to vote and continues through Nov. 1.
You may vote in person at the BOE. Remaining early voting hours are:
- 8 a. m.-7 p.m. Oct. 25-29
- 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 30
- 1-5 p.m. Oct. 31
- 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 1
Registered voters also may request an absentee mail-in ballot. Your ballot request must be received by the BOE by noon the Saturday before Election Day (Oct. 30). The BOE recommends you return your application "at least 7 days prior to Election Day" to account for processing and delivery times.
Visit votehamiltoncountyohio.gov to request your mail-in ballot.
If you have requested a mail-in ballot but then decide you don't want to vote by mail, you can go to your polling location but you must fill out a provisional ballot, not a regular ballot. The provisional ballot will not be counted until at least 11 days after the election.
Voting In Person
While you can vote in person early at the BOE, if you chose to vote in person on Nov. 2, you'll need to find your polling location.
To find your location, enter your address at votehamiltoncountyohio.gov/where-to-vote.*
Polling places are open from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. If you are in line by 7:30 p.m., you are allowed to vote.
Voters must be an acceptable form of ID to the polls. Your name and address must match your current voter registration record.
Acceptable PHOTO ID:
- Ohio Driver License/Ohio State ID/Ohio Interim Documentation (must show your name, current or former address and valid date)
- State of Ohio or Fed. Govt photo ID (must show your name, current address and valid date)
- Ohio Concealed Weapons ID (must show your name, current address and valid date)
Acceptable DOCUMENTS as ID: (must show your name, current address, and be dated within 12 months)
- Utility Bill
- Bank Statement
- Government Check
- Payroll Check
- Government Document
- Military ID Issued by Dept. of Defense
If you do have an ID or drivers license that lists your former address, you can still cast a ballot as long as your current residential address has been given to the BOE and it's on the official poll list of registered voters.
And if you don't have any of the above documents, you can still vote via provisional ballot as long as you can provide the last four digits of your social security number or you can go to the BOE offices within seven days of Nov. 2 with an acceptable form of ID.
If you are wondering who or what you're voting on, visit the BOE website or CityBeat's guide.
The League of Women Voters of Cincinnati Area has also published a Voter Guide with CityBeat, which includes a print-out ballot to take to the polls with you.
*An important note from the downtown Main Branch of the Cincinnati Public Library if that is your polling location: "If your polling location is listed as the Downtown Main Library, please enter the Library's North Building using the Ninth Street entrance to vote on Nov. 2. The Downtown Main Library's South Building is currently closed for renovations. To keep up to date on improvements at the downtown Main Library, please visit cincinnatilibrary.org/next-generation."
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