The deadline to register to vote in the presidential primary election in Ohio on March 17 is Tuesday.
CANTON If youre not registered to vote, you have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to register for the March 17 presidential primary.
To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen whos lived in Ohio for at least 30 days prior to the primary and be age 18 or older by the Nov. 3 general election.
Those who are 17 but will turn 18 by Nov. 3 can vote March 17 for candidates. But they cannot vote in elections for party state central committee, party county central committee or on issues such as school levies.
If you havent voted for six years and your local county Board of Elections hasnt heard from you in at least six years, your voting registration may have been canceled.
To check, go to the Stark County Board of Elections website at starkcountyohio.gov/board-of-elections. Click Am I registered?
Enter your name and date of birth. If youre registered, your name, address and polling location will be displayed. To see which contests would be on your ballot, scroll down to Sample Ballot and select Dem for Democratic, Lib for Libertarian, NP for Non-partisan and Rep for Republican ballot.
You can only vote in one partys primaries to select a nominee such as for president to run in the general election on Nov. 3. If you choose to vote in the Democratic primary, you cant vote in the Republican primary or vice versa. If you select the nonpartisan ballot, you will not be able to select any candidates and can only vote on issues.
You can register online or by submitting a paper form. The option to register online has been available since January 2017. You need to submit your name, address, date of birth and either the last four digits of your Social Security number or Ohio drivers license number. You can also submit by paper an official document like a utility bill or bank statement with your address instead of the last four digits of the Social Security number or drivers license number. Those registering with a paper form must sign it.
To register online, update your voter registration address or download a paper voter registration form, go to: olvr.ohiosos.gov.
You can also get paper ballot forms at your county Board of Elections, public libraries, Bureaus of Motor Vehicles offices and high schools. They must be filled in, received and time stamped at the above locations in person or by mail until they close Tuesday.
The Stark County Board of Elections is closed Monday for Presidents Day. But its offices at 3525 Regent Ave. NE in Canton will be open 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday for people wishing to register to vote in person.
Travis Secrest, administrative assistant for the Stark County Board of Elections, said some links on social media that offer voter registration appear to go to private websites that are apparently seek to mine peoples personal information. He recommends going directly to the Ohio Secretary of States website.
Also, filling out and giving voter registration forms to an individual doing a voter registration drive does not guarantee the forms will be submitted to the Board of Elections. Its best to register online or submit the forms by mail or in person.
Residents are encouraged to later confirm online that theyre registered or call the Stark County Board of Elections at (330) 451-8683.
Early voting in Ohio starts Wednesday. Stark County voters can vote in person at 3525 Regent Ave. NE until March 16. They will be required to show ID or provide an official document with their address or fill out an absentee ballot application.
Between Feb. 19 and March 6, early voting will take place 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. From March 7 to March 14, the hours will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Then 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 15 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, March 16.
Secrest said a significantly larger number of voters cast ballots in a March presidential primary in contrast with an odd-numbered year May primary with local races. Between Wednesday and March 16, the board will be 15 to 20 employees on hand to help minimize waits. The board will set up 20 touchscreens for early voting this year, up from 10 for prior votes.
People can request a paper absentee ballot that they can mail to their county board of elections or submit in person. As of Friday, 1,362 had requested absentee ballots in Stark County. The breakdown was 542 Republicans, 740 Democrats, three libertarians and 78 who wanted issues-only non-partisan ballots.
To do so, go to starkcountohio.go/board-of-elections and select on the menu on the left Absentee/Early Voting. Then click on Request an absentee ballot by mail. You must say on the form whether you want a Republican, Democratic, Libertarian or non-partisan ballot. If you don make a selection, it will delay you getting your ballot.
Requests for an absentee optical scan paper ballot must be received by a local county board of elections by noon March 14.
Voters then mark their selections on an absentee ballot with a blue-ink or black-ink pen, seal it in a provided envelope and must sign the envelope or the ballot is invalid. If you mail it in, it must be postmarked by March 16. If you or a close family member turns it in person at the Board of Elections, it must be done by 7:30 p.m. March 17. It cannot be submitted at a polling location.
If you request an absentee ballot but you forget that you did so and you go to your polling location to vote on March 17, you will have to fill out a provisional ballot. The votes will count once the Board has verified that you cast your absentee ballot.
Voting hours at Stark Countys 120 polling locations on March 17 will be 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Reach Repository writer Robert Wang at (330) 580-8327 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @rwangREP
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