OC Votes: New Ohio Voting Law

May 9, 2023 10:00 AM

Office of the Dean of Students

The new Ohio voting law HB 458 means some changes for how Oberlin students can engage in democracy during elections. You can read about the changes in full here but here’s what you need to know:

  • You must have a valid photo ID in order to vote in person in Ohio in the November election. This can include:
    • An unexpired Ohio driver’s license
    • An unexpired Ohio state ID card
    • An interim BMV document issued to a person who has just applied for a driver’s license or State ID card that is used until the permanent card arrives in the mail
    • A US Passport or passport card
    • A U.S. military ID card, Ohio National Guard ID card, or U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs ID Card
  • Students will no longer be able to use a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck at the polls. 

We strongly encourage students to start thinking about how they want to plan to vote in the upcoming election. Your options will include:

  1. Register to vote at your Oberlin address. Remember that you must register at the physical address of your dorm. You must obtain one of the valid forms of photo ID to vote in person. Students over the age of 17 can obtain a state ID card for free, but must provide proof of residency to do so (see the Ohio BMV website for what documents you'll need to obtain an ID). Passports and passport cards are also accepted, but take time to arrive. If you plan to get a passport, we encourage you to start the process this summer. 
  2. Plan to vote by mail, either at your Oberlin address or back at your home address. Deadlines to request absentee ballots will vary depending on your state. You can look up your state regulations on absentee ballots at Campus Vote Project State Student Guides
  3. Register to vote at home and make plans to travel back to your home to vote on election day, November 7, 2023. 

This new law means some changes to how you can vote and it’s important to stay informed so you can stay engaged in democracy! Check your registrations now on vote411.org and get ready for election day in November! Please contact ocvotes@oberlin.edu with any questions or concerns.