Ohio was the 17th state to enter the US. The state’s status became official on March 1, 1803. The state’s capital and largest city, Columbus, is the 34th biggest city in the US. Ohio is made up of almost 44,830 square miles and is the seventh most populous US state with approximately 11,570,810 residents. Ohio only ranks in population behind the states of California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania. People in the state are known as Ohioans.
The origin of the name of the state is derived from a Native American Iroquois word which means “large river” or “good river.” The state nickname is the “Buckeye State” and the state motto is “With God, all things are possible.” The state song is “Beautiful Ohio.” In many instances, the song conveys the sentiments of felons who are given the right to vote again.
Felons in Ohio regain their voting rights automatically upon release from prison. Felons who are on probation or parole are still able to vote.
Felon Voting Law in Ohio
A news report issued in October 2015 by WDTN in Ohio said that voting privileges for felons are reissued after an individual serves his or her sentence, or upon a felon’s release from prison. According to the news report, Ohio is one of 14 US states that permit felons who have served their sentence to re-register to vote.
The Board of Elections further supported the claim and added that felons have 30 days before a scheduled election to re-register. Unless the felony involved an electoral matter, such as voter fraud, a felon does not lose his or her voting rights.
The Board of Elections also stated that anyone who is charged with a felony who has not been convicted may vote too, even if they are currently incarcerated. Absentee ballots are mailed to individuals who are awaiting a court appearance, whether they are residing inside a correctional facility or at home. Parolees and felons on probation may also vote.
How a Felon in Ohio Can Restore Their Voting Rights
In order to vote in Ohio state elections or participate in a federal election, you must register to vote ahead of the scheduled date with the Secretary of State. Registrants can go through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) as well while filling out ID card transactions or their driver’s license application.
In order to vote in Ohio, you must be –
· At least 18 years old before or by the scheduled election date and a US citizen
· A resident of Ohio for at least 30 days
· Currently not imprisoned for a felony
· Mentally competent
· Not disqualified for committing a felony associated with the electoral voting law
Felons can register through the county Board of Elections by mail or in person. Residents cannot register online. To register by mail or in person, complete and send a voter registration and information update form to the local county Board of Elections office. The Ohio Secretary of State office online supplies a complete listing of locations that provide the form.
A copy of the form can also be downloaded, completed and dropped off at –
· Any Board of Elections office
· Ohio BMV deputy registrar location
· Public library
· Public high school or vocational facility
· County treasurer office
· Other state office
Felons can find out further details about the process by accessing the following link.
Other Resources For Felons in Ohio
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