Primary season in Ohio is in full swing, and candidates are packing their schedules with debates and town halls, as we saw the Buckeye State's Senate and gubernatorial candidates do last week. But for residents to vote in the May primary elections, voter registration must be up to date.
Monday, April 4, — or 30 days prior to the May 3 primary election — is the final day to register to vote. Duty-bound stragglers cutting it close still have a few options.
Ohioans can register to vote online, by mail or in person, depending on if they will be at least 18 years old on or before the Nov. 8 general election, have been an Ohio resident for at least 30 days before the May 3 primary election, have a state driver's license or identification card and a Social Security number (Only U.S. citizens may vote).
Those with all of the required elements may register online immediately at voteohio.gov.
Residents who would rather register in person, who have questions or who are missing some of the required elements should visit an Ohio county board of elections office for the fastest service by the deadline. Other designated agencies approved by the secretary of state can assist with registering to vote, but all materials still need to be filed with the secretary of state on April 4.
Ohioans can find forms to register to vote or update voter registration on the secretary of state website. Voters also can find an FAQ here.
Polls will be open for in-person voting 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on May 3, primary election day (valid identification is required). Registered voters also may cast absentee ballots at their county board of elections office or by mail beginning April 5, with the deadline to request an absentee ballot being the Saturday before the election (or April 30). There are also early voting options. See the full schedule on the secretary of state website.
Ohio voters should know, though, that voting this year is a bit of a confusing headache due to the ongoing state district map drama. As of April 1, statehouse races will not be on the primary ballot, according to the secretary of state's office.