EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT VOTING BUT WERE EMBARRASSED TO ASK
HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE?
You can fill out a registration form at the Wood County Board of Elections at the county building annex behind the courthouse on Court Street in Bowling Green. Or you can call the Board of Elections at 419-354-9120 to request a form by mail. You can also register at the place where you renew your driver's license.
Wood County Board of Elections
One Courthouse Square
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS I MUST MEET TO REGISTER?
You must be a United States citizen, a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days before the election, and 18 years of age by the date of the General Election. You do not need to show any identification to register.
WHAT IS THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER?
The registration deadline for any election is 30 days before that election.
I WON'T BE 18 UNTIL OCTOBER 25. WHEN CAN I REGISTER TO VOTE?
You may register to vote while you are only 17. If you will be age 17 at the time of the Primary election but age 18 by the date of the November General Election, you may vote in the Primary election for candidates only, not issues. Therefore, you should register by the registration deadline 30 days before the Primary election. Presidential Primaries are in March, Gubernatorial Primaries and Local Primaries are in May.
WILL I EVER HAVE TO RE-REGISTER?
If you move within Wood County, or from another county in Ohio, you should notify in writing the Wood County Board of Elections at least 30 days before an election. If you forgot to change your address before an election, you may go to the polling place of your new address, change your address and vote. Call the Board, preferably before Election Day, for the address of your new polling location.
If you change your name, you must notify the Board of Elections.
DO I HAVE TO CHOOSE A POLITICAL PARTY WHEN I REGISTER TO VOTE?
No, you won't be asked your party. (There's not even a place to write it on the form!) You will need to declare a party at a Primary Election to vote for party candidates. But you may vote on ballot issues at a Primary without declaring a party.
IF I REQUEST A PARTY BALLOT IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION, CAN I VOTE FOR CANDIDATES OF A DIFFERENT PARTY IN THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION?
Yes, you may vote for any candidates of your choice in November regardless of how you voted in the Primary. Your ballot is secret; no one will know how you voted.
CAN I VOTE IF I WON'T BE HOME ON ELECTION DAY?
There are new laws in effect that change many aspects of voting by absentee ballot. First, voters are no longer required to provide a reason for needing a ballot. Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot from the Board of Elections (BOE).
Second, voters must now provide additional information in order to request an absentee ballot. See the full list of required information below. There is also a new form that voters can use to request a ballot. This new form asks for all the information that is now required to be provided in order to receive an absentee ballot.
All absentee ballots must be returned to the Board of Elections office by 7:30 PM on election day. (excluding out-of-county civilian or out-of-country military absentees which must be signed or postmarked by Election Day and received by the BOE office within 10 days after the Election).
Absentee ballot requests for those currently residing in Wood County are available on the board of elections website, under Voter Information. You can print off the form, fill it out and return it to the board. The application may be returned in person, by mail or be put into the board of elections drop box which is located on the east side of N. Summit St. next to the Trinity United Methodist Church. The Secretary of State recently mailed an absentee ballot request to all recent voters in the state. Fill it out and return it to the Wood County Board.
Voters are not required to use the form. You can mail the board with your request at One Courthouse Square, Bowling Green, OH 43402. You need to include:
Name and Wood County Address
The election for which you are requesting a ballot
Address where you would like the ballot sent if other than your voting address
Date of Birth
Acceptable IDs to vote by mail include an Ohio driver's license/state ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. For the complete list of acceptable IDs go to the board of elections website.
Please print and sign your request. If more than one voter in a household requests a ballot, the BOE must have the signature of each person.
Please include a phone number in case of error or question.
Absentee applications that are delivered by mail must be received by the board of elections by noon on Nov. 4. Local boards of elections cannot send out unsolicited absentee applications.
If you mail your voted ballot, it must be postmarked no later than Nov. 6, the day before election day. Or, you may return your voted ballot in person to the board of elections whenever the office is open to the public, including during election day hours, 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Mail your completed form to: Absentee Applications, Wood County Board of Elections, One Courthouse Square, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402, or Fax to: (419) 354-1730
If you have any questions about the new laws or these absentee ballot procedures, please feel free to call The Board of Elections office at (419) 354-9120 or visit the:Wood County Board of Elections website.
HOW DO I KNOW WHERE TO VOTE?
After you register the Board of Elections will send you a card telling you where your polling place is. If you lose the card, you call the Board of Elections.
HOW DO I ACTUALLY VOTE? (I HAVE NEVER DONE IT, AND I DON'T WANT TO LOOK STUPID)
The poll worker at the polling place will assist you. There are new identification requirements at the polls. Voters must bring identification to the polls in order to verify identity. Identification may include a current and valid photo identification, a military identification that shows the voter's name and current address, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the voter's name and current address. You show your identification and you tell them your name and address; they will show you where to sign the poll book. After you sign you are handed a card for the voting machine. You then enter the poll booth, vote and return the card to a poll worker. Ballots in Wood County are now on touchscreen electronic voting devices. There is a practice machine at each polling place and a poll worker can show you how to use the machine before you enter the poll booth.
For more detailed information about how to vote, visit the:
Wood County Board of Elections website or visit the: Ohio Secretary of State website to get forms online and all the information you need about deadlines, registering and absentee ballots. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on election days.
DATES TO REMEMBER IN THE YEAR 2017
Deadline to register for May 2, 2017 Primary/Special Election: April 3, 2017
Primary Election Day: May 2, 2017 (polls open from 6:30am to 7:30pm)
Deadline to register for August 8 Special Election: July 10, 2017
Special Election August 8, 2017 may be held (polls open from 6:30am to 7:30pm)
Deadline to register for the November 7 General Election: October 10, 2017
General Election Day: November 7, 2017 (polls open from 6:30am to 7:30pm).
More detailed information about election dates may be found at Ohio Secretary of State Election Services Elections Calendar.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ON VOTING AND CANDIDATES?
From the League of Women Voters, the Secretary of State, Board of Elections and local civic organizations. There is a wealth of information on the internet on civic, political and governmental sites. Candidates may establish their own web sites.
The Bowling Green League of Women Voters collects nonpartisan information about issues and candidates for the Voters' Guide. The Sentinel Tribune publishes the Voters' Guide at no charge to either the League or the voters. Publication is usually sometime the week before the General Election. There will also be information on this website before major elections.
For more detailed information about elections, visit the:
Wood County Board of Elections website or visit the: Ohio Secretary of State website
to get forms online and all the information you need about deadlines, registering and absentee ballots