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Moving Right Before Election Day? Here's Where You Should Vote

A line of people at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections during the 2020 spring primary.
Gabriel Kramer
A line of people at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections during the 2020 spring primary.

Across Ohio, more than 17,000 homes were purchased in July, with thousands more sold in August. Now people are looking to move into their new homes over the next couple months – right before Election Day. 

So where should all those people vote? 

According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, people should vote where they will be living on Election Day, even if they’re not living there just yet. 

Mike West, board of elections spokesman, says this is a common election-year conundrum. 

“This is kind of a common mistake where people will wake up one morning and they'll go, ‘Gosh, I live in Euclid now, and I used to live in Strongsville, I have no idea where I’m supposed to vote today,’” West says. “They might think, ‘Well, what the heck, I know if I go to Strongsville, I can stroll right in, my name will be in the poll book for that location, and I can vote and off I go.’ Well, you can do that, but that’s breaking the law because you might be voting on issues that only affect Strongsville, and you don’t have the right to weigh in on those anymore. Also, your choices for candidates might be different.” 

At your new polling location, West said, you will be given a ballot and a provisional envelope. That way your vote will be counted, and your address will be updated for the next election. 

Take care to register to vote at your new location as soon as possible, West said, so long as you’re certain you will be living there on November 3. You also may want to let the current residents know your voter registration will be showing up in the mailbox, so it doesn't get sent back. 

If you’re moving close to Election Day and you’re really not sure what you should do, West says you should head to the Cuyahoga Board of Elections headquarters downtown. 

“If you come and vote early at the Board, you never go to the wrong place to vote,” he said. “You can come here and explain the situation and they’ll get you set up and you can vote successfully.” 

The deadline for voter registration in Ohio is October 5. A driver’s license is required to register to vote, but it does not have to show your updated address, as long as your license number is valid.