BGSU Votes is a nonpartisan, student-led initiative focused on voter and political engagement to increase the knowledge and develop the skills of students to engage in democracy, politics, policymaking, and social action. We are a campus resource for election information, presentations, and collaborations.
In Ohio you are required to register to vote at least 30 days before an election. Other states have different registration requirements and deadlines. Students may choose to register to vote in their college/university community or back in their hometown. Each time you move to a new address you must update your voter registration address.
Below we have curated some helpful nonpartisan tools and links that will help you get more informed about candidates, issues, and elections so you and be prepared to vote.
In many states, including Ohio, there are multiple methods you can utilize to vote. You can
- vote early in person,
- vote early by absentee ballot, or
- vote on Election Day.
Each has a process that requires some planning on your part and below we have curated some helpful tools to make your voting experience great.
How do I vote by mail?
The Campus Election Engagement Project highlights the simple steps for voting by mail.
Voting by Mail: Myth vs. Fact.
Do you have concerns voting by mail this fall? Check out this Campus Election Engagement Project video debunking common myths surrounding the process.
Volunteer with BGSU Votes
Want to volunteer with BGSU Votes? We are always in need of volunteers to help register voters, inform students of upcoming elections, and work on special projects to foster a climate of political engagement on campus.
Frequently Asked Questions
An absentee ballot allows you to vote by mail. If you are a registered voter, your local board of elections will send out an absentee ballot application and corresponding deadline to submit. They will then send you your ballot by mail and you complete it and send it back to your local board of elections.
If you did not get an absentee ballot by mail, you can request one online at longdistancevoting.org. Remember, you must be registered to request an absentee ballot.
Students who live on campus and are registered to vote at their on campus address can access a Voter Identification Letter, which is accessible through your MyBGSU portal. See instructions for how to access this letter.
Students registered to vote at an off campus address should consult the voter identification requirements at the Ohio Secretary of State website.
If you are voting early in person, you will need your Ohio Driver's License or State ID number or the last 4-digits of your Social Security Number.
Early voting is a convenient option to cast your ballot before election day. Many voters are out of town on election day, cannot make it to the hours of voting on election day because of work, or have other extenuating circumstances.
Each county handles early voting differently. Before the election, determine the early voting location and times in the county in which you are registered to vote. For those of you registered in Bowling Green, the early voting location is a short walk from campus at the Wood County Courthouse (located in the building with the tall clock tower near downtown Bowling Green, or 1 Court House Sq., Bowling Green, OH).
Yes, you will have to register using your address on-campus or off-campus in Bowling Green.
Many students decide to register to vote in the town they attend college/university. As a student you have the right to register and vote in the place that you consider to be truly "home". We recommend that you speak to your friends and family to help you make the decision about where you would like to vote.
A Student Perspective
Learn more about BGSU Votes from Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Ambassador, Carlie Pritt.
BGSU Voter Engagement Data, Reports, and Resources
BGSU is a part of the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement. Each even election year a report of student voter registration and participation is compiled to better understand student voter engagement at BGSU. To view the reports please visit our Resources page, which also features other helpful information and resources.
BGSU Votes is a partnering campus with the Andrew Goodman Foundation Vote Everywhere Program, All In Campus Democracy Challenge, Campus Election Engagement Project, and Campus Vote Project Voter Friendly Campus Initiative.