Changes are coming for the Ohio primary

Several changes to voter registration procedures in Ohio and Washington County will go into effect soon, ahead of the May 2 primary.

Monday is the deadline to register, either as a new voter or to update your name and address. The Washington County Board of Elections office is Suite B in the rear, lower level of 204 Davis Ave., Marietta, and will be open until 9 p.m. that day.

Ohio law now requires every registered voter to present a current, valid photo ID when voting in person. An Ohio driver's license is the most common form of this type of identification. Those who do not have a driver's license can obtain a state ID for free at the area Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office.

There are elements of identity that a voter must prove to obtain a standard ID card: full legal name, date of birth, legal presence in the United States, social security number, Ohio street address, and proof of name change, if applicable.

(There is also a compatible ID card issued by the agency, but that basically represents a proposed future change in the type of ID that will be required for air travel.)

The BMV has a list of acceptable documents online at For example, name, date of birth and legal presence in the US can be covered by a birth certificate or a US passport. An Ohio street address can be covered by a pay stub, 1099 or W-2 form, military discharge papers, or school transcripts. The website provides full information on which documents can and cannot be accepted. Most items that are handwritten are disqualified.

A visit to the local BMV office – in Marietta, that is, in the Frontier Shopping Center on Gross Street – requires no time. However, there is a way to reserve your spot at the kitchen island in advance at

“The Ohio BMV has been planning for months to issue free IDs on the date of the new law's effective date,” according to Lindsey Bohrer, deputy director of communications for the Ohio Department of Public Safety. “We have produced a publication that describes how to get a free ID. We have information about free IDs on our website. Additionally, we have been in constant communication with all deputy registrars, providing information and training around the state since the legislation was signed so they are up to date on the change in law.”

If a voter's address has changed since the last poll and they don't update their information with the Board of Elections by Monday, they can still vote in the May 2 election and have it count as a provisional vote. Early voters will do so at the Washington County Board of Elections Office. On election day, an already registered voter who has changed address must go to the polling station designated for the new address.

There are two changes from previous procedures that Washington County Elections Director Mandy Amos would like to highlight.

First, there will be no actual voting the day before the election (Monday, May 1), as there has been in the past. Early voting at the board's office ends on Sunday, April 30, when they will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The full list of early voting opportunities at the BOE office is:

* Tuesday, April 4 to Friday, April 7 – 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m

* Monday 10 April to Friday 14 April – 08:00 to 17:00

* Monday 17 April to Friday 21 April – 08:00 to 17:00

* Monday 24 April – 07.30 to 19.30

* Tuesday 25 April – 07.30 to 20.30

* Wednesday April 26 to Friday April 28 – 07:30 to 19:30

* Saturday 29 April – 08.00-16.00

* Sunday, April 30 – 13-17

The second change is that the date for requesting a postal vote has changed. The last day for that is Tuesday, April 25 when office hours are closed. In addition to obtaining a mail-in ballot at the election office, the BOE's website,, includes a section where a mail-in ballot can be requested.

Nancy Taylor can be reached at

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