Sunday, September 5, 2004

Registered to vote?
If not, here's what you do


Basic registration facts

The deadline to register to vote in Ohio is Oct. 4.

The secretary of state's office, which administers elections in the state, offers some basic information about registration.

How do I register to vote?

You can register to vote by filling out a brief form, giving your intent to register, your name, birth date, citizenship status, age, current address and signature.

Do I have to register before every election?

No. Once you register to vote and vote in at least one general election in four years and - if you so choose - in a primary or special election, you never have to register again. You must keep your registration accurately updated for changes, such as a move or a name change.

Must I have an ID with me to register to vote?

Identification is not required to register to vote in Ohio.

Can I register to vote anywhere as long as it is in Ohio?

Yes, you may register at any approved registration site in the State of Ohio, but you must vote in the county and precinct where you reside.

How old must I be to be able to register to vote?

You must be 18 years old on or before the day of the general election.

Must I declare a political party affiliation when I register?

No. However, when you vote in a primary election, your vote will determine your party affiliation.

Where can I register to vote?

You can register to vote at the following locations.

• The office of the Secretary of State of Ohio, or the Secretary of State Client Services Center, 30 East Broad St., Columbus, Ohio.

• The local board of elections office in your county.

• Any Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office or BMV registrar.

• Any public or vocational school.

• Public libraries.

• Your county treasurer's office.

You also may be able to register at sites such as union-affiliated offices, or at get-out-to-vote rallies at special locations.

How can I request a voter registration form?

You can request a voter registration form by mail, or by calling or visiting your county board of elections. You can obtain a form via mail by contacting the office of the Secretary of State of Ohio or by visiting the Ohio Secretary of State Client Services Center. Anyone may pick up a registration form for you.

Persons registering by mail must provide identification information when attempting to vote for the first time, unless the person provides his/her current Ohio driver's license number or the last four digits of his/her Social Security number on the registration form. The identification information is either:

A copy of a current and valid photo identification or a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing name and address.

Is there a deadline for sending in the registration form?

Oct. 4.

Do I have to be registered in the county that I consider my residence in order to vote?

Yes.

How do I find out if I am still registered if I have not voted in a long time?

Contact your county board of elections for information specific to your situation.

Can I register to vote if I am a felon?

Yes, if you are not currently jailed.

What form do I fill out to change my address or my name?

You must complete an Ohio Voter Registration Form at any registration site. The registration form is available when you file for a marriage license, or with the court when you change your name.




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