Voter Registration Tips
Registering others to vote is another way to be civically engaged and participate in democracy. On this page you will find useful information about laws and policies you must follow when registering voters to vote in the State of Ohio as well as frequently asked questions that arise when registering students to vote.
Voter Registration in Ohio
Learn more about voter registration in Ohio from the Wood County Board of Elections and BGSU Votes. This video provides an overview of voter eligibility, voter registration options, the voter registration form and common mistakes, and other considerations for individuals helping others register to vote.
Who is eligible to register to vote?
An Ohio voter is qualified to register to vote in Ohio if they meet all of the following requirements:
- They are a citizen of the United States.
- They will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the general election.
- They will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which they want to vote.
- They are not incarcerated (in jail or in prison) for a felony conviction.
- They have not been declared incompetent for voting purpose by a probate court.
- They have not been permanently disenfranchised for violations of election laws.
Who can register other people to vote?
There are no restrictions on who may accept voter registration forms on behalf of others, except that felons who have not yet completed their sentence or obtained final release from parole or probation may not assist with voter registration.
Do I need to complete training before registering people to vote?
If you will be registering voters and representing BGSU Votes as a volunteer, we ask you to complete the following
If you are not representing BGSU Votes you are welcome to complete the training so you aware of the policies, procedures, and responsibilities of doing voter registration. The training takes roughly 30 minutes to complete.
What are the common mistakes students make when completing a registration form?
There are a variety of simple mistakes and common errors students make when completing an Ohio voter registration form. Below are the most common that BGSU Votes encounters:
- Student handwritting is unclear or illegible.
- Students may forget to complete the check boxes at the top of the form that ask about citizenship and age.
- In cell 4, students sometimes do not know their full address. A list of on campus residence hall addresses can be found on our main BGSU Votes webpage.
- In cell 8, the requested information is for County, but many write U.S.A. instead.
- In cell 9, people sometimes put the date they are filling out the form, instead of their birthdate.
- In cell 11, people do not put their phone number, however it is encouraged to list your phone number so the Board of Elections can call you to clarify any of your information that is missing or illegible.
- Cell 14 is the signature and date. Sometimes people forget to sign the form and sometimes they list their birthdate instead of the date they are completing the form.
Is there a time limit for how long I can hold on to voter registration forms?
Yes, voter registration forms are due 10 calendar days from the day the form was completed. It is important to note that this is calendar days, so weekends and holidays count.
Additionally, it is important to know that the Ohio Revised Code 3599.11 outlines specific rules to be aware of when registering others to vote. No person shall: (subject to a 5th degree felony)
- Knowingly fail to return any voter registration form
- Knowlingly aid any person to register in violation of law
- Knowingly destroy any completed voter registration forms.
If you are doing voter registration drives, it is imperative that you have a process identified for turning in voter registration forms by the ten day deadline.
Is there a deadline for voter registration?
Yes, the deadline for voters to register is 30 days before each election. The Ohio Secretary of State publishes an election calendar for each year. This is a helpful document when planning your voter registration drives and outreach.
If a voter registration form is incomplete, what should I do with it?
Within the 10 day deadline you should try to contact the voter to have them finish completing the form. If they cannot be reached or do not complete their form, you should still submit their form. This is why it is encouraged to have voters list their phone number on the form so you or the Board of Elections can contact them if they have questions or need to fill in incomplete information.
Where do I take my completed forms?
You have some options here.
- You can drop off your forms at the BGSU Center for Public Impact in 100 University Hall between the hours of 8 am - 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
- You can choose to mail the forms to the local board of elections or the Ohio Secretary of State.
- You can drop them off in person at the local board of elections office. The Wood County Board of Elections has a drop box located outside the front doors of the Wood County Courthouse located at 1 Courthouse Square in Bowling Green, Ohio. This is a convenient way to drop off your forms.
- For students on the Firelands campus the Erie County Board of Elections is located at 2900 Columbus Avenue, Room 101 in Sandusky, Ohio.
Are there other things that I should not do?
Yes, do not offer any thing of value to the voter in exchange for their voter registration. If you do offer something minimal like coffee or donuts at a voter registration table, make sure the refreshments are available to anyone who makes a request - not just to those who complete the registration form.
Frequently Asked Questions Voters Ask When Registering
Yes, a student can register to vote in the county where their school is located. They are not allowed to vote in both locations. Financial aid and BMV license/registrations are not impacted if an out-of-state student registers to vote in Ohio.
Yes, individuals who regularly stay at a shelter or other location where they intend to return may list a shelter or other location as their residence on a voter registration form.
Yes, you need to update your address with the Board of Elections before the registration deadline for the election you wish to vote. You can update your registration using a paper voter registration form or online at www.myohiovote.com.
If you missed the deadline, but are registered in Ohio at a former address, you will have to vote provisionally.
Yes, you need to update your name with the Board of Elections before the registration deadline for the election you wish to vote. You can update your name using a paper voter registration form or online at www.myohiovote.com
There is a program called Safe at Home offered by the State of Ohio to victims to apply for a substitute address designated by the Secretary of State to serve as the victim’s address to shield his/her actual residential, school, or work address from public records including voter registration lists. The program also serves members of a victim’s household.
If you do not apply for this program, then the address listed on your voter registration form will be publically available.
Updated: 01/03/2022 10:51AM