State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) today issued a statement commemorating the 53rd anniversary of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 and putting out information on frequently asked voting questions in advance of tomorrow’s August 7 special congressional election in central Ohio.


“Today marks a special day in our country’s history when we committed to making voting rights for all a reality instead of a promise that existed only on paper for some. Since 1965, we have struggled to remove all the barriers to voting, especially for communities that have historically been disenfranchised and targeted with extra voting obstacles. But we draw on the power of this mid-century civil rights achievement to keep up the fight today.


“Some of today’s Ohio voting laws are confusing, but every voter can have a smooth voting experience and have their ballot counted when they’re prepared with accurate voting information. If voters are ever in doubt about where to go or what to do, they should call their county Board of Elections for assistance. Our neighborhood poll workers are also there to help.”


The below information addresses frequently misunderstood Ohio voting rules and can also be attributed to Rep. Clyde:


Voter ID


State of Ohio driver’s license and ID cards can be used to vote even if they still have an old address on them. Most other voter IDs have to have a current address on them. Military IDs do not have to have an address on them.


College student voter ID


Student ID cards issued by colleges are not accepted as voter ID. But students without a driver’s license or other ID can use an official document like an account statement from their public college or a utility statement from their private college. The statement has to have the student’s current local address on it.


Voters without ID


Voters who don’t have a driver’s license or other ID to show at the polls can still vote. Voters can cast a provisional ballot and that ballot will count as long as the voter is registered and provides ID on the envelope, like writing in the last 4 digits of one’s SSN or their full driver’s license number on the ballot envelope. Voters do not need to go to their county Board of Elections after Election Day to show ID unless they left the ID section of the ballot envelope blank when they voted.


Voter moved from address where he or she is registered to vote


Voters who move can vote even if they have not updated their registration address. They just need to be registered somewhere in Ohio. Voters can show up at their Early Voting location or the Election Day polling location for their new current address and they can vote and update their address simultaneously.


Requested absentee ballot but didn’t return it


Your absentee ballot has to be in the mail by the Monday before Election Day. Mailing it on Election day is too late. If you haven’t mailed yours, you can drop it off at your county Board of Elections by 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Or you can vote a provisional ballot at your neighborhood polling location. Call your Board of Elections if you need help finding where to vote.


Don’t leave without voting!


Voters who encounter any problem at the polls should not leave their polling location without at least casting a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are counted as long as you are in the polling location assigned to your current address and you fill out the ballot envelope correctly and completely. Voters: Make sure you are in the right place and don’t leave without voting!


Rep. Clyde serves as Ranking Member on the House Government Accountability and Oversight committee, which hears elections and redistricting-related bills. She is an attorney and former election official and was named 2016 Legislator of the Year by the Ohio Association of Election Officials for her elections work.

 
 
 
  
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