Tick. Tick. Tick.
That’s the sound of time running out if you need to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election.
Today is your last chance, and elections boards will be open later than usual — from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. — to give you extra time.
Voters might be confused about whether they need to register or update their registrations. With this in mind, the Beacon Journal talked to Joe Masich and Kim Zurz, the director and deputy director of the Summit County Board of Elections, and reviewed election information to try to provide answers to questions voters might be asking.
Masich suggested that voters unsure about their registration status check now, rather than waiting until Election Day.
“Voters have to take some responsibility to keep their information current with us,” Masich said. “If you are not current with your credit card company, you are not able to use your charge card. We go to great lengths to make sure voters stay active and eligible to vote.”
Q: What if a citizen hasn’t voted since 2008? Is he or she still eligible to vote in this election?
A: Yes. If a citizen voted in 2008 and has had no contact with the local elections board since then, he or she is considered an active voter through two federal elections cycles, or until at least 2016.
Q: What are Ohio’s requirements for voting?
A: A voter must be a United States citizen, at least 18 as of Election Day, a resident of the county in which he or she has been living for at least 30 days before the election, and not be incarcerated for a felony conviction.
Q: How can a voter check to see if he or she is registered?
A: Voters can check on the Ohio secretary of state’s website, www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/voters.aspx.
Q: Where can a voter register?
A: At any county elections board, public libraries, Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices, public high school or vocational school, by mail, or at offices of designated agencies, including the Department of Job and Family Services.
Q: When must registrations being sent by mail be postmarked?
A: By 30 days before the election, which is today.
Q: Do voters who have moved need to update their registrations?
A: Yes. This can be done by filling out a new registration card at one of the locations listed above. The Secretary of State’s Office has a new online feature that allows people to easily update their addresses.
Q: What if a voter moves after the deadline or misses the deadline? Where does he or she vote?
A: The voter should go to his or her new polling location, based on where he or she now lives, and will be permitted to vote a provisional ballot. The voter should NOT go to his or her old polling location or to the local elections board. Summit County voters can check their polling locations on the board’s website, www.summitcountyboe. com/. All voters can check their polling locations on the secretary of state’s website.
Q: What about a voter who has gotten married and changed her name?
A: She also needs to update her registration. This can be done with a registration card or a special form at the local elections board.
Q: What about a voter whose signature has changed from what is on file with the elections board because of a medical condition, such as a stroke?
A: Such a voter can fill out a Form 260 at an elections board.
Q: Can a student vote using his or her school address?
A: Yes, if the student regards this as his or her residence and registers to vote using this address. Otherwise, the student must vote using his or her home address.
Q: Does a voter declare a party affiliation when registering?
A: No. Party affiliation is determined by the ballot voted in a primary election.