How to cast your vote today and make it count

Here are five things every voter should know before casting a ballot today.
Andy Ouriel
Nov 6, 2012


1. What do I need to bring with me so I can vote without any problems?
A valid form of identification includes one of the following:
- current or valid Ohio driver's license;
- military identification card;
- original or copy of current utility bill containing voter's name;
- original or copy of current bank statement;
- original or copy of current paycheck;
- original or copy of current government check or any other government check.

2. What happens if I'm confused about the voting procedure?
There's at least one poll worker assisting voters at each location throughout the county. If you have a question, poll workers are trained to help you understand any confusing issues when submitting a ballot.

3. Where do I vote?
Every registered voter should have received an information mailer in the past few days or weeks, providing the location of your polling place. If you did not receive the document, or misplaced it, you can log onto the county's board of elections website — — and look to the left side of the page. There you'll see several tabs. Find the "poling locations" or "polling place search" tab and click it.  Enter your information and your polling location should pop up. Call the board of elections office as a last resort, since workers will be busy throughout the day. The number is 419-627-7601

4. When can I vote?
All local polling locations are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today. As long as you're in line by 7:30 p.m., workers must let you vote.

5. What are my rights?
You're under no obligation to discuss your vote with anyone, and no one is allowed to influence how you vote. If you encounter any problems, inform the poll workers or a local law enforcement agency.
Additionally, only voters are allowed within 100 feet of all polling locations on Election Day. Anyone else must stay behind a line, which is usually marked by tiny American flags placed into the ground. Campaigners can peacefully support or protest a candidate or issue beyond the 100-foot limit.

The Register has extra copies of its Oct. 30 elections guide for sale, if you're looking for more information on any particular race. Stop by 314 W. Market St. to pick up a copy.



Do you KNOW how easily I could fake a utility bill? Permitting copies only makes it an order of magnitude easier. Copy of a check? No problem. Bank statement? Easy peasy. Checking ID is a joke. Oh, it's not a FUNNY joke, but it's a joke. A Democratic Republic (which is what we are, NOT a democracy) is dependent for legitimacy on the legitimacy of the voting process. And some have (I believe deliberately) brought that legitimacy into question by alleging "discrimination" against those who don't have IDs.

If you don't have an ID, why the heck not? If you drive, you've got a driver's license. If you don't, get a state ID. It's not hard. It would just make voter fraud a whole lot harder to perpetrate. Of course, that's probably the point...


I agree. If it is true that illegal's get Welfare or some other form of government assistance, then that means if they show their government check, they get to vote. Also, you don't even have to prove you are a citizen, just show your utility bill. Boy, are we one screwed up nation!


What checks? Most are direct deposit.

John Harville

Grandmas girl... pay tenhun PLEASE. You have to prove you are a citizen to REGISTER to vote (which ended October 9 to allow time for the BOE to check it out). No registration, no vote. No change of address on your registration, provisional ballot. All of you seem to forget it's the REGISTRATION that prevents the fraud.


Boy, do I feel stupid!! Of course you guys are right. What was I thinking? Appearently I wasn't. Thanks for setting me straight, although I shouldn't have needed to be told. Again, sorry for the stupid attack.

John Harville

FIRST... you must be registered. That takes care of the ID process because the registration application researches identity. You sign the registration and that signature is entered on the poll book - which is why you sign in to vote. Voting illegally is incredibly difficult. When you vote early or by absentee you don't present ID because you use last four of your SS# or other ID which the BOE has time to check. ID at the poll is just to be sure you produce something to prove who you are...and you still have to sign.


It's been well-established that the actual number of cases of verified voter fraud is very small, less than 100. The many things the GOP are trying to enact (to prevent supposed voter fraud) are quote obviously aimed at reducing the number of Democrats who vote. It's well documented, and interestingly, most of the unscrupulous things they have tried have been overturned in court - quite interestingly, by Republican judges in several cases.

These ploys have attempted to disenfranchise several hundred thousands voters, so I would say that this is "just a bit" more of a problem than voter fraud...


Seriously. I was going to run my 18 yr old son over to the BMV to renew his ID since we just realized it expired on his birthday a couple of weeks ago, then I saw he could use his bank statement. That just shocks me.

John Harville

Kelly... do you REALLY think there are hordes - or even a couple - of people who take the time to set up bank accounts early so they can have ID? It's all still about REGISTRATION.


No, I'm shocked that he doesn't have to have a photo ID to prove that it's actually HIM casting his vote.


But, if he is not in the registration book, his vote still doesn't count until it is verified by the BOE - that's the point everyone is talking about. Geesh.


Here is Number 6. Don't write-in Ron Paul as he is not a write-in candidate for President.

Vote instead for Gary Johnson (Libertarian). If Gary Johnson gets 5% of the vote, the Libertarian party will get federal funding like the Democrats and Republicans now do. "Since no third party candidate received 5% of the vote in 2008, only the Republican and Democratic parties are eligible for 2012 convention grants, and only their nominees may receive grants for the general election when they are nominated. Third-party candidates could qualify for retroactive public funds if they receive 5% or more of the vote in the general election."

John Harville

DO NOT write in anyone unless you A) know they registered as a write-in and B) if the candidate is registered, you must write it the same way as registered. Writing-in will spoil your ballot and cause it to be discarded.
A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Barry.


no one asked my daughter and I for ANY form of ID. And I was amazed that there were SOOO many pencils sitting around to fill out the voters form.

John Harville

Did you sign the poll book? Did any of the workers know you? Why the concern about the pencils - ideally you should use a black pen.


Here is a question for all you fact finders ??? Could someone please
tell me how many people are ELIGIBLE to vote in the 2012 U.S. Presidential
election ?



I saw the figure of 133 Million eligible voters in the United States. It was a graphic on the news, the other day, that flashed very quickly, so I may be off a little.


206,072,000 Eligible to vote 146,311,000 Registered

John Harville

Sooo. 60 million ELIGIBLE voters didn't register...22%.

The Bizness

How about the Government just issue every single person 18 and up an ID that is free...that way we don't have to argue about this nonsense... Only that FREE government issued ID could be used to vote, or another form of Government issued ID such as drivers license or Passport.

Voter ID laws should not be pushed onto the people months before an election, and people should not have to pay to get an updated ID just to vote.


The SR is engaging in voter suppression! If you do not have any of the listed forms of ID you can still cast a provisional ballot that will be verified if necessary. Don't stay home because you don't have an ID. Exercise your right and responsibility to vote!


While technically you are correct, in practice most of those votes won't count. In Ohio, the person has to produce an accepted ID within 10 days after casting a provisional ballot or it won't count. If the past is any indication, most people do not return with an ID within those 10 days. So unless you plan on showing up at the board of elections with proof of who you are after the election, your vote will not count. It also likely won't count unless the amount of provisional ballots is more than the difference in votes between the two candidates. If you really are concerned about your vote counting, show up with an acceptable form of ID.


Please tell me you were joking about the Libertarian's wanting %5 of the vote to access federal funding.... :\


No Joke. We need a third party to the Democrats and Republicans. A third party will offer real change and hope. The other two parties offer more of the same and prevent competition from a third party. The corporations and super rich own the Democrat and Republican two-party system.


@ Centauri:

The Green Party is running to enact FDR's Second Bill of Rights.

Everything in this country will be free, free, free and somebody else (they're not really sure who) will pay for it.

Typical Progressive-socialist economic and fiscal nonsense.

Even Alexander Hamilton realised that printing money was preferable to raising taxes.

Thank you for keeping the U.S. economy on life support Mr. Bernanke! Send the bill for decades of living beyond our means to someone else.


The Libertarian Party has debated receiving federal funds. In the past, the Party has been split.

To some it was welfare; to others it was just getting money back that was originally stolen.


I only posted the green papers (Green Party) for information only. I am an Independent who will be voting Libertarian (Gary Johnson). I am not promoting the Green Party, I only provided a source of information about the write-in candidates in Ohio.


@ Centauri:

A misunderstanding. I only mention the Green Party as a contrast to the Democrats whereas the Libertarians tend to take votes from the Repubs.

In the early 90s I was active in the Libertarian Party; had dinner with Andre Marrou and Nancy Lord.

BTW: Andre Marrou "won" Dixville Notch. He later said that if that was the only vote that counted, that he woulda been POTUS.

I too am an Independent with libertarian leanings.


I guess the 'stolen' part makes some sense... I'm just having a problem with the part about using a bureaucracy that is (I understand)a fundamental objection for the party. Learn something new everyday I guess.... Wonder if Walter Williams feels that way?


Maggdi writes:

"Wonder if Walter Williams feels that way?"

An excellent question.

I'm torn on the issue myself.


I don't get a sticker :(

I vote absentee :)

John Harville

You could stop by the BOE and get one.


Good idea, John. But I 'm pretty far away from in my county seat. Oh, well.

Teeter's picture

Ohio law requires that every voter, upon appearing at the polling place to vote on Election Day, to announce his or her full name and current address and provide proof of the voter's identity.

The forms of identification that may be used by a voter who appears at a polling place to vote on an Election Day include:

A current and valid photo identification card issued by the State of Ohio or the United States government; or
A military identification ("military ID"); or
An original or copy of a current utility bill; or
An original or copy of a current bank statement; or
An original or copy of a current government check; or
An original or copy of a current paycheck; or
An original or copy of a current other government document, other than a voter registration acknowledgement notification mailed by the board of elections, that shows the voter’s name and current address.
A voter presenting an Ohio driver’s license that shows the voter’s former address is permitted to cast a regular ballot so long as the voter’s current residential address is printed in the official poll list of registered voters for that precinct. Voters who do not provide one of these documents at the precinct will still be able to vote using a provisional ballot. Voters who do not have any of the above forms of identification, including a Social Security number, will still be able to vote by signing an affirmation statement swearing to the voter’s identity under penalty of election falsification and by casting a provisional ballot.

For Voter I.D. purposes "current" means the document was issued on a date within one year immediately preceding the date of the election at which the voter seeks to vote, or has on it an expiration date which has not passed as of the date of the election in which the voter seeks to vote.




Spoken like a true democrat that wants to undermine the election! Good for you.


@ Randy_Marsh:

That saying was a standard joke when I lived in Chicago.

John Harville

And it was based in reality. My aunt gave men names on a piece of paper and drove them to the polls to 'vote' with that name. Then she drove them to the bar for a drink. Then she gave them another name and drove them to a poll across town. Then back to the bar. This was good for at least three votes before the guy was too drunk to trust. Most of her friends also were REPUBLICAN precinct committeepersons who did the same.

John Harville

Oh Marsh... get your giggle on.

Good 2 B Me

I offered my Driver License and was told no. No one checked my ID in Erie County. Just Saying.


They asked for our IDs at the Faith Memorial voting site

John Harville

Did you sign the poll book? If the signature hadn't matched, you would have been ordered to show an ID.

Good 2 B Me

No, I voted early. Told the lady my name and she gave me a ballot. Simple as that. I offered to show her my ID, she said no.



Pres. Obama booked McCormick Place instead of Grant Park for the election night rally

Only ticketholders and campaign workers are invited.

Thanks for your vote, but the rest of you Obamabots need not bother showing up as you've served your purpose.

John Harville

So.. Romney is hosting 1,000 journalists and 7,500 campaign staff at Boston Convention Center - chief guest Sheldon Adelson who has poured $1 million into his 'beat Obama' campaign.
Obama will be hosting 18,000 volunteers and others at McCormick Place


@ John Harville:

So Mr. Romney is no different from Mr. Obama in snob appeal?

Try walking or taking public transportation to McCormick Place. It ain't Grant Park.

So much for this election being about "the people."

The Big Dog's back

Whatever mr "Libertarian Independent".


@ brutus:

Yea, what a difference four years make huh?

The useful idiots goose-stepped out and voted like good little sheeple. This party is for elites only.

Independent-libertarian (small "l").

Approx. 32% of the population is Dem, 28% Repubs; the balance and largest group are Independents.