How you can register to vote online starting Jan. 1

Some retailers are offering freebies for voters on Election Day.
Caption
Some retailers are offering freebies for voters on Election Day.

Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has a New Year’s resolution he wants to see Ohioans make: register online to vote.

And that can goal can be completed as soon as the Times Square Ball completes its New Year’s Eve descent.

Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 63 this past summer, which authorizes the state to implement online voter registration, and it will be live at midnight on Jan. 1 on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.

“It eliminates another excuse for not voting,” he said. “Nobody can say it’s too hard. You don’t have to leave home to participate in Ohio democracy now.”

Ohio is now one of 38 states, plus the District of Columbia, to move toward online voter registration, but seven states — which includes Ohio until New Year’s Day — have yet to implement it.

Ohio's voting sticker. SOURCE / www.sos.state.oh.us
Caption
Ohio's voting sticker. SOURCE / www.sos.state.oh.us

HOW IT WORKS

Though nearly a dozen states did not require legislation to authorize online voter registration, Ohio needed it because state law requires a signature on a voter registration form, said Husted.

That’s where the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles enters the process. SB 63 allows the Secretary of State to compare a person’s driver’s license or state-issued identification number maintained by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

State law needed to change to permit that communication, Husted said.

When someone goes online to register — which Husted said a link will be prominent on the Secretary of State’s homepage — they’ll fill out the form and click submit.

The form will be sent from the Secretary of State to the appropriate county board of elections.