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There Are Options For Ohioans Who Hit A Snag With Online Voter Registration

A bowl of stickers for those taking advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Steubenville, Ohio.
Gene Puskar
/
Associated Press
A bowl of stickers for those taking advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Steubenville, Ohio.

Ohioans have until Monday, October 5 to register to vote if they want to cast a ballot in this year’s election. Most people can go online to register, but that might not be as easy for college students or others who move often.

When you register to vote online, the address given on your application must match the one on your driver’s license. If they don't match, you can't register through the online portal.

An Ohio license or state-issued ID card is not required to register to vote, but the system is tied to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vechicle's database for other purposes, so registrations that don't match can get kicked out.

College students might discover the problem if they live on or near campus, but if their parent's address is on their driver's license.

There are ways to get around the problem, including to change the address on your driver's license. That can be done by going to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles website. You can change the address on your driver's license without having to get a new license issued.

After you change your address online through the BMV, the agency should send you a change of address card, not a new license. And as soon as the address change is registered in the system, you can register to vote online.

The other option is to go old school and register on paper. Download and print out the voter registration form, fill it out and take it to the local board of elections. That will bypass the match system.

It's important to register now. Early voting begins on October 6.