Today is the last day to register to vote in Ohio and Kentucky, which means today is as good a day as any to check to see if you are:
- Registered to vote
- Your registration is up to date
In-person early voting starts Oct. 6 in Ohio and Oct. 13 in Kentucky. Election Day/standard in-person voting takes place Nov. 3.
So how do you check to see if you're registered to vote?
For Ohioans, all you need to do is go to this link olvr.ohiosos.gov. This Ohio online voter registration system allows you to both register to vote and update your registration address.
Just watch this video for a how to:
If you want a handy guide to see all of your voting options in Ohio and how to use them, we made one at citybeat.com. Learn how to vote in-person — early and on Election Day in November — or by mail.
If you are voting by mail, make sure you have a plan to get your ballot sent off to the board of elections or drop it directly in the ballot mailbox at your BOE (in Hamilton County, that's at 4700 Smith Road, Norwood).
Secretary of State Frank LaRose says: "The deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days before the election in which you want to vote, but voters can submit their application any time. If mailed, absentee ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election in order to be counted. You can also return your absentee ballot in-person to your county board of elections before the close of the polls at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day."
But, please note, that since Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was appointed to the United States Post Office, The Guardian has found a drastic decrease in on-time delivery rates; they fell this summer from roughly 91% — when DeJoy took over — to an all-time low of 69.7% for first-class mail.
USPS has said, however, that on-time rates are on the rise once again in September, and that's certainly the case in the Ohio Valley (back up to 85% for first-class mail), according to the Guardian's data. But the advertised 1-3 day delivery time for first-class mail is becoming less and less of a guarantee.
In Ohio, if you have requested and received an absentee ballot but decide to vote in person instead, go to your assigned polling place on Election Day and vote by "provisional ballot."
And if you want to find out where your early voting location is and times to vote, visit ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/toolkit/early-voting. For day-of polling locations, visit ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/toolkit/polling-location.
For Kentucky residents, check to see if you're registered at vrsws.sos.ky.gov/VIC.
If you need to register or update your registration, visit vrsws.sos.ky.gov. Follow the prompts to fill in information regarding you eligibility, social security number, date of birth, address, etc.
Per the Kentucky Secretary of State: "For a new registration, you are not officially registered to vote until the electronic application is approved by your county clerk. For a change to an existing registration, your information will not be changed until the electronic application is approved by your county clerk. If your registration application is accepted, the county clerk will send you confirmation, by mail, of your registration/change and notify you of your polling location."
Like in Ohio, you can vote in-person — early and on Election Day — or by mail in Kentucky.
In Kentucky you can request an absentee/mail-in ballot at vrsws.sos.ky.gov (the deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Oct. 9) if you qualify based on any of these statements:
- Person who due to age, disability or illness will be unable to go to the polls on election day, (or concern about contracting or spreading COVID-19)*.
- Student who temporarily resides outside the county in which he is registered.
- Voter who temporarily resides outside the state but who is still eligible to vote in the state.
- Person who is incarcerated and has been charged with a crime but has yet to be convicted.
- Person whose employment location requires him to be absent from the county all hours and all days absentee voting by machine is conducted.
- Military personnel confined to a military base on election day.
- Person who is participant in the Office of the Secretary of State's address confidentiality program.
The little asterisk next to "COVID-19" above equals: "Shall be interpreted to mean 'Of an age, or possessing of a health condition or vulnerability, or potentially in contact with a person of an age, or possessing of a health condition or vulnerability, that the voter believes subjects the voter or other person to unacceptable risk of harm from contracting or transmitting the novel coronavirus.'"
Note: In Kentucky, only request a mail-in ballot if you intend to vote by mail-in ballot. Once you have requested a mail-in ballot, you cannot vote in person in Kentucky unless you have not received your ballot by Oct. 28.
To find your polling location or where to vote early in person, visit sos.ky.gov/elections/Pages/Polling-Locations.aspx.