How to Vote in College

Whether you’re just starting college or haven’t voted while in college, there are a few things to know as you get ready for the presidential election.

You must register to vote by October 11.
Note: You cannot register to vote online in Ohio (yet), which means you will need to mail your registration to your county’s board of elections.  Don’t miss the deadline!  Download a form here.

You have two options. Register with your permanent home address and vote by mail, or register with your new school address. The address you register with will determine the local issues and candidates that appear on your ballot.

Not sure if you are registered? Look it up here.


We recommend voting by mail.
We recommend registering with your permanent home address and voting by mail. This is because your school address typically changes from year to year, which means you would need to update your voter registration every time you want to vote (remember, it’s important to vote in every election, not just during presidential races). Also, depending on where you go to school, it may be difficult to vote at your polling location if you don’t have access to a car or public transportation.

How to vote by mail in Ohio:
1. Complete a vote-by-mail ballot application and mail it to your county’s board of elections.
2. Your county’s board of elections will mail you your ballot. Ballots will be mailed out beginning October 12.
3. Complete your ballot and return it to your county’s board of elections (postage not included).

That’s it! And, you still get a sticker when you vote by mail!

Vote By Mail Stickers Instagram

Give yourself extra time.
Sometimes campus mail can take a little longer. Request your vote-by-mail ballot early! This will ensure your county’s board of elections has enough time to process your request and send you your ballot. Your absentee ballot must be postmarked by November 7, 2016 (one day before the election) and received back at your county’s board of elections within ten days of the election in order to be counted.

Voting by mail is safe and secure.
All ballots are prepared for tabulation as soon as they arrive back at the board of elections. Ballots are locked in our vault until election night. The first votes counted on election night are from early and absentee ballots. In Cuyahoga County, you can even get a text or email to confirm your vote has been counted when you sign up for VoterNotify.

Fun fact: Voted ballots can never be left alone with a single person. One person from each party must always be present, and the access code to our vault is broken into two codes. One democrat has one half of the code, and one republican has the other half.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact your county’s board of elections, or give us a call at 216-443-VOTE.

The above information pertains to Ohio voters. The following resources may be helpful to voters outside the state of Ohio:

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