Off to the polls

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Nearly 1.5 million voters have requested absentee ballots - a state record and one clear sign of the importance of the Nov. 4 presidential election. By now, you should be registered and ready to cast a ballot. To prevent confusion, here are answers to some frequently asked questions. For the entire Alive Voter's Guide, click to

Can I still request an absentee ballot?

Yes. Absentee applications were mailed weeks ago to registered voters. If you never received one, they're available for download through the Ohio Secretary of State's website. Simply fill it out, mail it in and await your absentee ballot.

Completed applications must be received by your county elections board by noon Saturday, Nov. 1. You can check the status of your application through your county elections board.

How long do I have to cast an absentee ballot?

Voted absentee ballots must be received by your county elections board by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots postmarked by Monday, Nov. 3, will be accepted until Nov. 14.

In-person absentee voting will be available at Veterans Memorial, 300 W. Broad St., until Monday, Nov. 3. You can cast a ballot from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

When will polls be open on Election Day?

Polls will be open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. At closing time, an election official or police deputy will make sure everyone already in line gets to vote.

Where is my polling place?

You can find your polling location by calling your county elections board or checking its website. Elections boards also have sample ballots available for download.

I requested an absentee ballot, but I now want to vote in person. What happens?

Voters will be given a provisional ballot, which must be verified by your county elections board before it's counted. If you provided proper ID when voting, you typically don't need to do anything else to have your provisional ballot tallied.

What should I bring to the polls on Election Day?

To vote, you must bring ID. You can bring a valid driver's license or state ID with your photo, name and address (not required to be your current address). You can bring a military ID with your name. Or you can bring a utility bill, paycheck or bank statement with your name and current address.

Without proper ID, you'll be given a provisional ballot. You must then appear in person at your elections board to provide proper ID within 10 days of the election.

Alive Returns Party

You've suffered since February, and you deserve a party. Alive has your back. We'll be at Campus hot spot Eddie George's Grille 27 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Election Day to watch the returns. We'll also be live-blogging the action, and we'll have an extra laptop for you to comment. For more info - or to register for the interactive blog feed - click to

Ohio Secretary

of State

Franklin County Board of Elections