The deadline to register to vote or update voter registration for the March 17 primary election is Feb. 18 and early voting begins Feb. 19.
Those who are not registered in time will be unable to vote in the primary which includes local and state offices as well as the presidential primary election.
Online voter registration and registration updates are an option through the website of the Ohio Secretary of State, Frank LaRose.
In-person registration and registration updates can be completed at the Fayette County Board of Elections, 135 S. Main St. in Washington C.H., from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Carnegie Public Library assists community members in registering as well, 127 S. North St. in Washington C.H., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
One contested race for Fayette County Commissioner between incumbent Tony Anderson and challenger Donald Fleak — both Republicans — is set for the March 17 primary. No Democrats filed for Fayette County races.
As previously reported, requirements to vote in Ohio include: being a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days prior to the election, not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction, being 18 years old or older at the time of the election, have not been declared as incompetent to vote by the probate court and have not been permanently disenfranchised for violating the election laws.
Those who are currently serving jail or prison sentences for a felony conviction cannot register or vote. People who have been convicted twice for a violation of Ohio’s election laws are barred from voting in Ohio.
When someone is incarcerated on a felony conviction, previously existing registrations are cancelled and the person must re-register to vote by the appropriate deadline once released.
A person generally needs an Ohio identification or driver’s license number, full name, date of birth, permanent address and the last four digits of their social security number in order to register.
A permanent address is a location a person intends to return to and is not a temporary stay. Those without permanent addresses who stay consistently in shelters or other locations can use that location as the residence for voting purposes as long as there is an intention to return to that location.
The residence of military voters along with military voter spouses and dependents is the last location lived in (in Ohio) immediately before leaving Ohio for military service.
If Ohio college students live on campus and have no intention of returning to a previous permanent address, the student may register and vote using the school’s location. If there is an intent to return, the student can also choose to stay registered and vote from their permanent address away from school, such as their parents’ address. Regardless of which option is taken, only one address can be used for registration and voting purposes.
Those who are 17, as long as they will be 18 by the time of the Nov. 3 general election, can register now.
On March 17, the polls will open at 6:30 a.m. and will close at 7:30 p.m.
To check the status and polling location for a registered Fayette County voter, please go to the Fayette County Board of Elections website. Once a voter is located, voter record, general information, absentee ballot information, etc. can also be seen or requested.
Proofs of the ballots of the various precincts in Fayette County can be viewed at https://www.boe.ohio.gov/fayette/c/pdf/2020PrimaryElectionProof.pdf. The first half are the Democratic ballots and the second half are the Republican ballots.
“When you go in to vote for the primary you must declare Republican, Democrat or Independent,” said Robin Beekman, the chairperson for the Fayette County Board of Elections.
Beekman explained that the party a person declares is the party the person will be registered as but, for instance, if a person declared as independent they would not be able to vote in either the Democrat or Republican primaries.
“Please come out and register to vote,” said Beekman. “Elections are very, very important.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.