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A Guide to Voting in College


As a college student, I always was a little confused when election season rolled around because I didn’t fully understand what my voting options were. But turns out it’s quite simple! It comes down to two choices: absentee voting using a pre-college address or reregistering to vote from a new college address to vote in person (or absentee). As long as you have an Ohio driver’s license or a passport, you’ll be all set. Here’s some more details and helpful links:


If you are unsure of your voting status, check online here. If you are 75% sure of your voting status, check online here. It’s better to check now than miss the registration deadline.


If you are an out of state college student:

As long as you are a U.S. citizen and will be at least 18 before the election, you can register to vote in Ohio with your campus address. You can register online here (you can also register in person or by mail if you’re feeling fancy).


You can also stay registered at your pre-college address and request an absentee ballot. Each state has slightly different requirements on when you need to make that request by, which you can find here. If you already know this is how you want to vote, request your ballot now! Early bird gets the worm, right?


If you are an in-state college student:

You can also stay registered at your pre-college Ohio address. You can request an absentee ballot, or if you will be traveling home around Election Day, you may be able to vote early in person.


If you’d prefer to vote from your campus address, you can easily switch your address online here. This will allow you to vote in-person near campus, but you can still request an absentee ballot if that is easier for you.


If you just graduated from college:

Make sure you update your voter registration information! If you’ve moved out of Ohio, register to vote in your new state (and maybe take a couple minutes to get familiar with other state specific deadlines). If you’ve stayed in Ohio, update your address here. All quick and easy!

Ok last reminders:

If you are changing your address or registering to vote --> make sure to do it at least 30 days before the election! If you can, do it now. It’ll take 5 minutes and then you’ll be set for November.


If you are requesting an absentee ballot --> make sure you know how early you need to request it. In Ohio, it’s at least a week before Election Day. If you can, do it now! What’s the point in waiting?


If you are voting in person --> you will need a photo ID. And I’m sorry to say a BuckID won’t cut it. But as long as you’ve got an Ohio driver’s license (for in state students) or a U.S. passport (for out of state students) you’re good to go. A full list of accepted IDs can be found here. Just make sure to check your ID isn’t expired before you go to vote. And FYI – an unexpired Ohio ID with your former address on it is still valid. No need to get a new ID just because you’ve moved somewhere new in Ohio. And if you don’t have a photo ID, you can still vote with an absentee ballot!


Phew I think that covers all the basics. Really, it’s all pretty simple and any of these options listed above take less than 10 minutes. And I know we all can find 10 extra minutes in our day. Especially for something as important as voting!


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