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Ohio's primary election is May 3 (for now). Here's how to make sure you're registered

Voting stickers are seen at a polling place Sunday in Steubenville, Ohio.
Gene J. Puskar
Voting stickers are seen at a polling place Sunday in Steubenville, Ohio.

Ohio's primary election is May 3. However, you won't see state House and Senate races on the ballot. That's because there aren't valid maps for those districts. This likely means a split for the primary.

Regardless, one thing is for certain: you will need to be registered in order to cast your vote. And as of this writing, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office has confirmed to WVXU that the deadline to register remains as Monday, April 4, at 11:59 p.m.

Here's what you need to know to make sure you can vote in May (and maybe later).

Check your registration status by entering your name and the county you live in on the Ohio Secretary of State's website.

If you need to update your address, you can do so via the same link.

First, know that to vote in the May 3 primary, you must be:

  • a U.S. citizen
  • at least 18 years of age on or before the Nov. 8 general election
  • eligible to vote in Ohio

If you meet that criteria, you have a few options to register:

  • online, so long as you have your driver's license and Social Security number handy;
  • download an application to print out and mail it to your board of elections;
  • request a form be mailed to you from your county board of elections or the Ohio Secretary of State's office

You can also obtain a voter registration form and register to vote in person at:

  • Your local board of elections
  • Any Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
  • Public libraries
  • County treasurers’ offices
  • The offices of designated agencies, such as the Department of Job and Family Services, or Department of Developmental Disabilities

The deadline to register to vote in the May 3 primary is Monday, April 4, at 11:59 p.m. if you're registering online; if you're registering in person, by close of business at one of the above locations.
Early in-person voting is set to begin April 5 and includes the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day, May 3.

You can find your polling location by clicking on your county on the Ohio Secretary of State's website and then entering your address on the next page.

During the month of April, early voting is available during the following days and times:

  • April 5-8: 8:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
  • April 11-15: 8:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
  • April 18-22: 8:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
  • April 25-29: 8:00 a.m. — 7:00 p.m.
  • April 30: 8:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.

Election Day polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
You have until April 30 at noon to request a ballot by mail one of three ways:

Once you receive your ballot, it must be postmarked by May 2. You can also return your absentee ballot in person to your local board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2.
This year Ohio officials were charged with updating the state House, Senate and Congressional district maps. Ohio's Supreme Court rejected the maps — drawn and adopted by the Republican-led redistricting commission — three times for being unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Still, local elections officials were using those maps to draft ballots. This left candidates, voters and the state's entire voting infrastructure confused about how to proceed.

After the court's third map rejection in March, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican on the redistricting commission, told lawmakers and elections officials to proceed without the state House and state Senate races on the May 3 ballot, saying the legislature must come up with a new date for the legislative races.

“We have to direct the boards (of elections) to start removing state legislative races and state central committee races from the ballot so that they are ready on April 5 when voters start showing up" for early voting, LaRose told the Ohio State News Bureau's Karen Kasler.

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