Frequently Asked Questions

Registration

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

Yes! As long as you have lived in Ohio for at least 30 days, you may choose to vote in your college community or back home regardless of your tuition status. However, you must register using your local address. If you live on-campus you must put the address of your residence hall (not a P.O. Box or mailing address).

TurboVote makes the process of getting registered to vote easy through a online process that takes minutes to complete. Since CWRU students come from across the country, this tool helps students manage voter registration deadlines and provides election reminders for all 50 states. Through TurboVote, CWRU students can get materials needed to register to vote, request to vote by mail and receive election reminders.

What type of ID do I need to register?

Ohio's voter registration form asks for your Ohio driver's license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

If you are registering by mail and you do not include an Ohio driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number, you must include a copy of:

  • a current and valid photo ID (a college student ID is not permitted)
  • a military ID
  • or a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or government document that shows your name and current address. If you live on-campus, you can get a print-out of your address verification (also known as Proof of Residency) by visiting a Housing Area Office or by stopping by University Housing Main Office.

Failure to provide this information could lead to you having to show additional identification when you vote that shows your picture or your name and address. Make sure to provide this information on the registration form so the state can verify your identity and you don't run into issues when you cast your ballot.

Can I register to vote online through CCEL?

The State of Ohio does not allow online voter registration. HOWEVER, through a partnership with TurboVote, you can get all the materials you need online. Visit case.turbovote.org to fill out your information online, TurboVote will then mail you a copy of your voter registration form. You will be asked to fill in some additional pieces of information and mail back the signed form (postage is already paid for). Through TurboVote you can also request an absentee ballot and sign up for Election Day reminder emails and/or text messages.

Casting a Ballot

Where can I find my polling location?

If you are registered in Ohio, You can find your polling location through the Ohio Secretary of State Website. Also, through TurboVote you can sign up for Election Day reminder emails and/or text messages that include your polling address. A Secretary of State or County Board of Elections website will typically be able to provide information on your polling location as well as confirming that you are registered in that state and/or county.

What identification do I need to vote in Ohio?

Those who vote early in person are only required to provide the last four digits of their social security number if they lack an Ohio driver's license or non-driver ID card.

Those who vote in person at the polls on Election Day must show one of the following types of ID:

  • Current and valid photo ID issued by the federal government or the State of Ohio (driver's licenses and non-driver photo IDs issued by the Ohio BMV are acceptable even if the address does not match the address on the voter's registration.)
  • Military ID that shows the voter's name.
  • A copy or original of a current utility bill (including a cell phone bill), bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document (including those issued by a public college or university) that shows the voter's name and current address (but not a notice of an election or a voter registration notification sent by a Board of Elections). See box below:
Colleges and universities may issue students living on campus a "proof of residence form" with a current address that students can use as voter ID. Case Western Reserve University students living in on-campus housing can visit their Area Office (Fribley Commons or Wade Commons) or the Office of University Housing (24 Thwing Center) to request a Proof of Residence Form.

A voter without ID will still be able to cast a provisional ballot after swearing to their identity, but must bring ID to the county board of elections within seven days.

I can't make it to the polls on Election Day, can I still vote?

Yes! You have two options; voting early or voting absentee

Voting Early: Registered voters have the right to vote early in person. Early in-person voting in Cuyahoga County, begins, Tuesday, October 12 and runs up to Election Day. Early Voting takes place at the County Board of Elections; Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is located at 2925 Euclid Avenue.

Voting Absentee: An absentee ballot is the printed ballot marked by an absent voter, sealed in a special envelope, and given or mailed to the municipal clerk. The municipal clerk ensures that each absentee ballot that is returned in a timely manner gets to the right polling place on Election Day. If accepted, the absentee ballot is counted as if the voter had cast the ballot in person. To request an absentee ballot online and by mail visit the County Board of Elections website for the county you are registered to vote in.

Out-of-State Students Voting in Ohio

Will registering to vote in Ohio affect my federal financial aid?

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and Perkins or Stafford loans or your dependency status regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Will registering to vote in Ohio affect my driver's license or car registration?

No. Simply registering to vote in Ohio does not mean you must obtain a driver's license and register your vehicle in the state.

Will registering to vote in Ohio prevent my parents from claiming me as a dependent on their taxes? No. Students are often told that registering to vote in a different state from their parents will make them lose their dependency status. This is not true. Where you register to vote will have no effect on you parent's tax status.


Additional Information & Resources

Submitting Absentee Ballot Requests in CCEL: Students are welcome to stop by CCEL on the first floor of the Tinkham Veale University Center any time during business hours, where a student or staff member can assist them in using TurboVote and completing their absentee ballot request forms. We can print paper copies in the office and will mail them for students.

Voter Registration in CCEL: Students are welcome to stop by CCEL on the first floor of the Tinkham Veale University Center any time during business hours, where a student or staff member can assist them in using TurboVote and completing their voter registration forms. We have paper copies in the office and will mail them for students.

State-Specific Voting Guides: Click here to view a state-specific voting guide. These guides were developed by Campus Vote Project to increase voter understanding of registration deadlines, where to register (their home or school address), ID requirements, and other information on voting.


*The Center for Civic Engagement & Learning and Case Western Reserve University do not endorse any candidate or political party in connection with this or any other political campaign or election. Volunteer opportunities to engage in election activities will be posted as submitted by either party, and students can choose whether or not they wish to get involved.