Election Guide 2020 - Banner

Key Dates and Deadlines

Mon, Oct. 5: Voter Registration Deadline
Tue, Oct. 6: Early Voting Begins
Sat, Oct. 31: Request Absentee/Mail-In Ballot Deadline
Mon, Nov. 2: Absentee/Mail-In Postmark by Date
Tues, Nov. 3: In-Person Voting
Fri, Nov. 13: Absentee/Mail-In Delivered By Date

Register to Vote

Mon, Oct. 5: Voter Registration Deadline in Ohio. County boards of elections open until 9 p.m.
Register to vote or check your registration status.

Absentee/Mail-In Voting

Sat, Oct. 31: Request Absentee/Mail-In Ballot Deadline

Mon, Nov. 2: Absentee/Mail-In Postmark by Date

Fri, Nov. 13: Absentee/Mail-In Delivered By Date


1. Request an absentee ballot. Print it out, sign it and mail the request form back to your county board of elections.

2. Receive your ballot in the mail.

3. Fill your ballot out. You can mail it back or deliver it in person to your local county elections board.

Early In-Person Voting

Tue, Oct. 6: Early Voting Begins

Any eligible voter can also vote early in-person at your county board of elections, starting on the day after voter registration closes (Oct. 5).

In-person Voting

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

You need to bring ID. If you don't, you can request a provisional ballot. (ID rules my vary for absentee ballots and first-time voters.) See more options below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I do not have a valid ID?
If you do not have a valid ID, you can cast a provisional ballot by providing your Ohio driver's license, state identification number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Once the information is reviewed and verified by the board of elections, your ballot will be counted.

You may need to cast a provisional ballot if your voter status is in flux. This could be because you recently moved and have not updated your voter information by the Oct. 5 deadline. For more information and scenarios which may require you to cast a provisional ballot, click here.

What are my voting options if I'm a member of the armed forces or overseas?
Click here to learn how to vote if you are a member of the armed forces or are otherwise overseas.

What is the difference between absentee voting and voting by mail?
In Ohio, there is no effective difference - voting by mail is the same thing as absentee voting, and absentee voting can be done by mail or early in-person at your county's board of elections. Read more here.

Do I need to wear a mask to vote in person?
Whether you choose to vote early in person at your county's board of elections or at your polling place on Election Day, Ohio is still under a statewide mask mandate for indoor public spaces, so you will need to wear a mask to vote inside. However, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said that his office and those working at election centers in Ohio are not in a position to enforce that mandate. Read more here.

Voters will also be required to maintain a six-foot distance from each other while in line to vote.

What if I observe irregularities at my polling place on Election Day?
The News 5 Investigators will be watching for any irregularities or issues on Election Day, so we encourage you to email them at InvestigatorTips@wews.com. We also recommend you contact your county's board of elections and/or the Ohio Secretary of State's office.

Key Dates and Deadlines in Ohio

Mon, Oct. 5: Voter Registration Deadline
Tue, Oct. 6: Early Voting Begins
Sat, Oct. 31: Request Absentee/Mail-In Ballot Deadline
Mon, Nov. 2: Absentee/Mail-In Postmark by Date
Tues, Nov. 3: In-Person Voting
Fri, Nov. 13: Absentee/Mail-In Delivered By Date

Download our streaming app on your favorite device.  Click here for more.

Download our streaming app on your favorite device. Click here for more.