Office of Student Life

Frequently Asked Questions

Student Voter FAQs

For Ohio Students:  

Who is able to vote in Ohio?  

You are qualified to register to vote in Ohio if you meet all the following requirements:  

  • You are a citizen of the United States; 
  • You will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the next general election. If you will be 18 by the time of the general election, you may vote in primary elections to nominate candidates. However, you cannot vote on issues or general elections until you turn 18  
  • You are/will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately preceding the election in which you want to vote. You are eligible to vote in elections 30 days after you register to vote in Ohio – you may request an absentee ballot during that 30-day period 
  • You are not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction 
  • You have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court
  • You have not been permanently disenfranchised for violating the election laws 

For more information, visit the Ohio Secretary of State website.  

Where can I register to vote in Ohio?  

You can register to vote in Ohio elections online with the Secretary of State. You can also register to vote at OSU Votes tabling event. Contact us at to find out where the next OSU Votes voter registration table will be!  

Where can I find my polling location?  

For Ohio voters, you can find your polling location using the database of polling locations on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.  

What is absentee voting? Who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot in Ohio?  

Absentee voting allows you to vote early by mail or by drop box at your county board of elections if you are unable or unwilling to vote in-person on election day.   

In Ohio, all voters with up-to-date registration information may request an absentee ballot. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is seven days before the election you wish to vote in. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election, or you can return your absentee ballot in-person to your county board of elections before the polls close at 7:30 p.m. on election day. More information about absentee voting in Ohio can be found on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.  

What identification do I need to vote in Ohio?  

The Ohio Secretary of State’s website thoroughly outlines the acceptable identification needed to vote in Ohio. Valid forms of photo ID include:  

  • Ohio driver's license  
  • State of Ohio ID card  
  • Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV  
  • A US passport or passport card 
  • US military ID card, Ohio National Guard ID card or US Department of Veterans Affairs ID card  

Additionally, all photo IDs must have the following information:  

  • An expiration date that has not passed  
  • A photograph of the voter
  • The voter’s name, which must substantially conform to the voter’s name as it appears in the Poll List or in the Poll Book  

For a full list of voter ID guidelines and requirements, please review the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.  

I'm not sure if I'm registered to vote in Ohio. How do I check?  

You can check your voter registration status with the Voter Search on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. 

For Out of State Students: 

Can I register to vote in Ohio if I am an out of state student?  

Yes, you can register to vote in Ohio as long as you meet the requirements outlined within the Voter Eligibility and Residency Requirements by the Ohio Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s website provides this guidance to college students:  

“A college student may vote using his or her Ohio school residence address if the student does not intend to return to a different permanent address. When a college student registers to vote from his or her school address, the school residence is considered to be the place to which the student's habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the student is absent, the student intends to return, and is considered by the student to be his or her permanent residence at the time of voting. Any other previous residence for voting purposes is no longer valid. It is illegal for a person to register and vote from two different addresses.”  

As of April 7, 2023, it is now required to have a photo ID to vote in-person in Ohio. A list of acceptable forms of photo ID can be found with identification requirements on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. Adjusting your permanent residence may impact your eligibility for certain financial aid specific to out-of-state students. As you are preparing to register to vote, we encourage you to reach out to Buckeye Link for information on how changes to your permanent residence may impact your financial aid award or any other university processes.  

How do I register to vote in my state of primary residence? How can I check my voter registration status there? provides resources for voter registration and voting in-person on election day for all U.S. states and territories. Additionally, you can check your voter registration status in your state by using this database from the National Association of Secretaries of State.  

How do I vote absentee in my state of primary residence? What if I want to vote in-person?  

To vote absentee in your state (a popular option for many out-of-state students), check out the requirements for absentee and early voting using this database from the National Association of Secretaries of State. Every state offers absentee voting, but deadlines and rules as to who can vote absentee vary by state. If you want or need to vote in-person in your state, check out the resources on for more information.  

Where can I find my polling location in my home state?  

For out-of-state voters, you can check your polling place using this database from  


How do I get involved as an OSU Votes intern or volunteer?  

The OSU Votes Intern selection process for 2023-2024 will start in spring 2024. Check the OSU Votes website then for more info. To express interest in volunteering, reach out to More information about volunteer opportunities coming soon!  

How can I contact OSU Votes with questions/more information?  

Contact us at or follow us on Instagram @osuvotes for more information!  


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