Putnam County

Ottawa, OH - County Seat


 

            
Putnam County Board of Elections
           

575 Ottawa-Glandorf Road

Suite 2

Ottawa, Ohio  45875



Phone: 419-538-6850

Fax: 419-538-6993




Hours:

Monday - Friday 8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M. 

 

 

Voter Eligibility

Does everyone who wants to vote in Ohio have to be registered to vote here?

What are the qualifications to register and to vote in Ohio?

Where is my residence for voting purposes?

May a college student register and vote from his or her school address in Ohio?

 

 

Registration

How can I register to vote?

What is the registration deadline?

What are my obligations to keep the board of elections informed of address or name changes?

Do I have to sign my voter registration application?

Do I declare my political party affiliation when I register?

 

 

Voting Procedures

Where do I vote on Election Day?

May I receive assistance in voting?

Will I need an ID to vote?

 

 

Absentee Voting

When does absentee voting begin and end?

Who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot?

What is the application process for obtaining an absentee ballot?

 

 

Uniformed Services & Overseas Voters (UOCAVA) & Absentee Voting

Must uniformed services and overseas voters be registered to vote?

Who qualifies as an overseas voter?

Who qualifies as a uniformed services voter?

Process to apply for a UOCAVA absentee ballot

How to receive an absentee ballot

Absentee ballot deadlines for UOCAVA voters

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot Notices

 

 

Voter Eligibility


Does everyone who wants to vote in Ohio have to be registered to vote here?


Yes.


What are the qualifications to register and to vote in Ohio?


You are qualified to register to vote in Ohio if you meet all the following requirements:

1.    You are a citizen of the United States;

2.    You will be at least 18 years old on or before the day of the next general election. (If you will be 18 on or before November 8, you may vote in the primary election to nominate candidates, but you cannot vote on issues or party central committees until you are 18);

3.    You will be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote;

4.    You are not incarcerated (in prison or jail) for a felony conviction under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States;

5.    You have not been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court; and

6.    You have not been permanently disenfranchised for violating the election laws.

You are eligible to vote in elections held in your voting precinct 30 days after you are duly registered to vote in this state. You may request an absentee ballot during that 30 day period.



Where is my residence for voting purposes?


On Election Day, you must cast your ballot in your precinct at your designated polling place between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. If you do not know your polling place and precinct, please contact your county board of elections.


Your residence is important because it determines which offices and issues you are eligible to vote on (e.g., the proper congressional district, school district, etc.). Under Ohio law, your residence is (1) the location that you consider to be a permanent, not a temporary, residence and (2) the place where your habitation is fixed and where, whenever you are absent, you intend to return. If you do not have a fixed place of habitation, but you are a consistent or regular inhabitant of a shelter or other location where you intend to return, you may use that location as your residence for the purposes of registering to vote.

Ohio is not considered your voting residence when:

·         You have moved to another state and vote in that state;

·         You have moved to another state and intend to make that state your residence;

·         You moved to another state and continuously reside outside of Ohio for a period of 4 years or more.


There are specific circumstances where you maintain your Ohio voting residence even though you are absent from the state.  You will not lose your voting residency in Ohio if:

·         You leave temporarily and intend to return to Ohio;

·         You are absent from Ohio due to your services with the United States government or state of Ohio;

·         You have moved outside of the United States.


If you were born outside of and continue to reside outside of the United States, but have a parent or guardian who last resided in and was last eligible to vote in Ohio before leaving the United States, your parent or guardian’s Ohio residence would be considered your voting residence.


If you have questions about your specific residency circumstances, you may contact your local board of elections for further information.

 


May a college student register and vote from his or her school address in Ohio?


It depends. A college student may vote using his or her Ohio school residence address if the student does not intend to return to a different permanent address. When a college student registers to vote from his or her school address, the school residence is considered to be the place to which the student's habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the student is absent, the student intends to return, and is considered by the student to be his or her permanent residence at the time of voting. Any other previous residence for voting purposes is no longer valid. It is illegal for a person to register and vote from two different addresses.


Registration


How can I register to vote?


You may register to vote in person or by mail.

Access a fillable pdf Voter Registration form by clicking here, or click here to complete your voter registration form on the Ohio Secretary of State's website.


These online forms are designed to be filled out online -- if you choose. The fillable pdf voter registration form may be printed and then completed by hand.  If you do fill the form out online, please print, sign and then place the form in an envelope and mail it to the Putnam County Board of Elections, 575 Ottawa Glandorf Road, Suite 2, Ottawa, OH 45875.


If you are sharing the registration forms with other people, please click here to review the Voter Registration Instructions.


You also may ask a county board of elections or the Secretary of State's office to mail a voter registration application to you.


You may obtain a voter registration application, and register to vote, in person at any of the following locations:

·         The office of the Secretary of State;

·         The office of any of the 88 county boards of elections;

·         The office of the registrar or any deputy registrar of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles;

·         Public libraries;

·         Public high schools or vocational schools;

·         County treasurers' offices; or

·         Offices of designated agencies, including:

o    The Department of Job and Family Services;

o    The Department of Health (including the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program);

o    The Department of Mental Health;

o    The Department of Developmental Disabilities;

o    The Rehabilitation Services Commission; or

o    The office of any state-assisted college or university responsible for providing assistance to disabled students.


When you have finished your voter registration application, please review it carefully for completeness and accuracy. You may either personally deliver, or send by U.S. Mail, your voter registration application to a county board of elections or the Secretary of State's office. You, or another person acting on your behalf, also may deliver your application to one of the offices listed above, but you should ensure your application reaches the office of a board of elections or the Secretary of State no later than the voter registration deadline, the 30th day before the election at which you want to vote.

 


What is the registration deadline?       


Ohio has a 30-day voter registration requirement. However, if the voter registration deadline falls on a Sunday or a legal holiday, then the deadline is extended to the next day that is not a Sunday or a legal holiday.


Registration by U.S. mail
If you choose to register to vote using the U.S. Mail, you may send your properly completed and signed registration application to the office of a county board of elections or the Secretary of State's office. Your application must be postmarked by the voter registration deadline, the 30th day before the election, in order to be eligible to vote in that election.


Registration in person
If you choose to register to vote in person, you may deliver your registration application to the office of a county board of elections, the Secretary of State's office, a state or local office of a designated agency (see list above), the office of the registrar or any deputy registrar of motor vehicles, a public high school or vocational school, a public library, the office of a county treasurer. Your application must be received by the voter registration deadline, the 30th day before the election, in order to be eligible to vote in that election.


You also may entrust your completed registration application to another person for delivery to elections officials. However, that person must deliver your application to a county board of elections or the Secretary of State's office within 10 days after you completed the application, or by the voter registration deadline, whichever is earlier.



What are my obligations to keep the board of elections informed of address or name changes?


If you are registered to vote in Ohio but have moved within the state and/or have changed your name, you should update your voter registration at least 30 days prior to the election.  You can do so by:

·        Submitting a new registration form with your new residence and/or name; or using the Online Change of Address (for address changes only) available at http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/Voters.aspx

 


Do I have to sign my voter registration application?


Yes. Ohio law requires the applicant to sign the voter registration application. "Sign" or "signature" means your written, cursive-style legal mark written in your own handwriting. If you do not use a cursive-style legal mark in your regular business and legal affairs, "sign" or "signature" means any other legal mark that you use in your regular business and legal affairs that is written in your own handwriting.



    What if I am unable to sign my voter registration form or other election documents?


If you are unable to sign your own name and have no other legal mark, make an "X," if possible, on the application signature line. The person who witnessed you making that mark must write his or her name beneath the signature line.


If you are unable to make an "X," you must indicate in some manner to the person assisting you that you want to register to vote. The person registering you must sign the application form and attest that you indicated that you want to register to vote.

    May a person who has my "power of attorney" sign my name to my voter registration application?


                        No. However, if by reason of disability you are unable to physically sign your name or affix your mark to the application, you may appoint an "attorney-in-fact" in accordance with the specific

                        requirements of R.C. 3501.382.  Your attorney-in-fact then may sign a voter registration application on your

                        behalf, but only at your direction and in your presence. Contact your county board of elections or the Secretary of

                        State's office for the proper forms necessary to designate an "attorney-in-fact" for this purpose.



Do I declare my political party affiliation when I register?


No. Under Ohio election law, you declare your political party affiliation by requesting the ballot of a political party in a partisan primary election.

If you do not desire to affiliate with a political party in Ohio, you are considered to be an unaffiliated voter. An unaffiliated voter does not vote the ballot of a political party in a primary election. However, an unaffiliated voter may vote the Official Questions & Issues Ballot, if there is one for the voter's precinct at the election.

 

 

Voting Procedures


Where do I vote on Election Day?


On Election Day, you must cast your ballot in your precinct at your designated polling place between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. If you do not know where your designated precinct or polling place is located, please contact the Putnam County Board of Elections at 419-538-6850 or click here to search for your polling place online.

 

 

May I receive assistance in voting?


A voter with a physical or mental disability, or a voter who is unable to read or write, may be assisted by anyone of the voter's choice, except a candidate whose candidacy is being voted on in that precinct, the voter's employer or the employer's agent, or an officer or agent of the voter's union. A voter may also be assisted by two poll workers (each of a different political party). No one who assists a voter may disclose any information about how that person voted.

 


Will I need an ID to vote?


Yes.  Ohio law requires that every voter, upon appearing at his/her polling place to vote on Election Day, to announce his or her full name and current address and provide proof of the voter's identity.


The forms of identification that may be used by a voter who appears at a polling place to vote on an Election Day include:

·         A current and valid photo identification card issued by the State of Ohio or the United States government; or

·         A military identification ("military ID"); or

·         An original or copy of a current utility bill; or

·         An original or copy of a current bank statement; or

·         An original or copy of a current government check; or

·         An original or copy of a current paycheck; or

·         An original or copy of a current other government document, other than a voter registration acknowledgement notification mailed by the board of elections, that shows the voter’s name and current address.


Absentee Voting



When does absentee voting begin and end?

 

For uniformed services voters and overseas voters eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), the absent voters ballots must be ready 45 days before an election. For all other voters, absentee voting begins 28 days before the day of an election. 


 

Beginning January 1 or 90 days before the date of an election, whichever is earlier, you may mail your properly completed absentee ballot application bearing your original signature to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. Mail in absentee ballots must be requested by noon on the Saturday before the election.  


                           In person absentee requests must be made by 2:00 p.m. on the Monday before the election. (O.R.C. 3509.03 (I))


 

If you or your minor child is in the hospital on Election Day, you must submit a properly completed and signed request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located by 3 p.m. on Election Day regardless of where you or your minor child is hospitalized. To be eligible under this provision, you or your minor child must be confined in a hospital because of an accident or unforeseeable medical emergency. Your application must specify where, why, and when you or your minor child came to be hospitalized. If you or your minor child is hospitalized in the same county where you are registered to vote, two representatives of the board of elections can deliver the ballot to you, wait while you mark the ballot, and return your voted ballot to the board office. Additionally, you may include in your absentee ballot application a request that your county board of elections give your unmarked ballot to a designated relative – your spouse, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, son, daughter, adopted parent, adopted child, stepparent, stepchild, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece – who shall deliver the ballot to you in the hospital and return your voted ballot to the board office.

 

If delivered in person to the board office, all absentee ballots must be received no later than the close of polls on Election Day. If postmarked before Election Day and mailed to the board office, absentee ballots must be received no later than the 10th day after the election. Postmarked does not include a date marked by a postage evidence system such as a postage meter.

 

Once absentee ballots are available for voting, any eligible voter may receive and return an absentee ballot in person at the county board of elections office (575 Ottawa-Glandorf Road, Suite 2, Ottawa, OH) or by U.S. mail.

Who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot?

 

Any qualified Ohio voter whose registration information is up to date may request and vote an absentee ballot without stating a reason.

 

What is the application process for obtaining an absentee ballot?

 

Ohio law provides separate application processes for different classifications of absentee voters (i.e., uniformed services, overseas, and regular citizens). In all cases, absentee ballots must be applied for in writing. If you are properly registered to vote, you must submit your written request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. Your request must contain certain information as described in the following sections and your signature. 

 

To avoid potential problems with your application, you are encouraged, but not required, to use an application form prescribed by the Ohio Secretary of State. Application forms may be obtained by calling the Putnam County Board of Elections at 419-538-6850 or are available for download as follows:

Click here to access a fillable pdf absentee application

Complete Your Absentee Ballot Request Form Online

Download the fillable pdf Application for Absent Voter's Ballot by Voter Hospitalized, or Whose Minor Child is Hospitalized, Because of an Accident or Unforeseeable Medical Emergency (11-B)

 

The online PDF form is designed to be filled out online if you choose. If you do fill the form out online, please print, sign and then place the form in an envelope and mail it to the Putnam County Board of Elections, 575 Ottawa-Glandorf Road, Suite 2, Ottawa, OH 45875

 

If you are not on active duty as a member of the U.S. armed services or other uniformed services, which includes Ohio's organized militia (the Ohio Air National Guard, Ohio Army National Guard, Ohio Naval Militia, and Ohio Military Reserve), or if you are a U.S. citizen not residing outside of the U.S., you are considered a "regular" absentee voter for the purpose of this site.

Regular Absentee Voters

 

If you are a regular absentee voter, you may use the application form prescribed by the Secretary of State (Form 11-A) to apply for your absentee ballot. If you choose not to use the prescribed form, your written application need not be in any particular format, but it must contain all of the following information:

Your name;

Your legal signature;

The address at which you are registered to vote;

Your date of birth;

One of the following items showing proof of your identification:

Your Ohio driver's license number;

The last four digits of your Social Security number; or

A copy of your current and valid photo identification, military identification, or a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current address (Note: You cannot use a voter registration acknowledgement notice that the board of elections mailed to you as proof of identification.);

A statement identifying the election for which you are requesting an absentee voter's ballot;

A statement that you are a qualified elector;

If the request is for a partisan primary election ballot, your political party affiliation; and

If you want the ballot to be mailed, the address to which you want it mailed.


 

 

Uniformed Services & Overseas Voters (UOCAVA) & Absentee Voting


  Must uniformed services and overseas absentee voters be registered to vote?


Yes.


 

Who qualifies as an overseas voter?


A U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. is eligible to vote in the Ohio precinct in which the voter resided immediately before leaving the U.S. if the voter was, or could have been registered to vote in Ohio while residing there, or currently is eligible under Ohio law to vote in Ohio.


A U.S. citizen who was born outside the U.S. is deemed to have a voting residence in Ohio at the place in the Ohio precinct where the person's parent or guardian continuously resided for at least 30 days immediately before leaving the United States.

 


Who qualifies as a uniformed services voter?


If you are serving on active duty in the uniformed services (U.S. Armed Services, merchant marines, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, the national guard and organized militia) and meet the requirements for voting at your Ohio voting residence, you may vote a uniformed services absentee ballot. Your spouse and dependents may vote a uniformed services absentee ballot if they left their Ohio voting residence to be with or near you.


The voting residence of a service member is the place in Ohio where the service member resided for at least 30 days immediately preceding the commencement of his or her service.

 


Process to apply for a UOCAVA absentee ballot


Qualified electors who are members of the uniformed services or residing overseas may apply for an absentee ballot in any of the following ways:

1.    You may use the current Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), available online at ets@fvap.gov

.  The FPCA may be used both to register to vote and to request absentee ballots.

2.    You also may request an absentee ballot using a form prescribed by the Ohio Secretary of State

o    Click here to use Form 11-A, which is a fillable pdf form, if you will be in Ohio during the absentee period; 

o    otherwise, use an FPCA, available online at ets@fvap.gov

 

3.    If you already are a registered Ohio voter, you may designate an eligible relative to request an absentee ballot on your behalf, 

o    Click here to use Form 11-E: Application by Relative for Uniformed Services Absent Voter's Ballot State prescribed form

o    otherwise, use an FPCA, available online at ets@fvap.gov

 


How to receive an absentee ballot


 If you are an individual eligible to vote under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), you may ask to receive your ballot in any one of the following ways:


1.    By mail: Beginning January 1 or 90 days before an election, whichever is earlier, you may mail your properly -completed absentee ballot application, bearing your signature, to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. However, you should submit your request as far in advance of the election as possible to ensure there is sufficient time for the board to mail, fax, or e-mail you a ballot. Your marked ballot must be returned by mail.


2.    By fax: You may fax your absentee ballot request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. You may request that the board fax, mail, or e-mail your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail.


3.    By e-mail: Your completed and signed absentee ballot request form may be e-mailed to the board of elections office in the county in which you are registered to vote. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. You may request that the board fax, mail, or e-mail your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail.


4.    In person: Once absentee ballots are available, you may go to your county board of elections office or other site designated by the board of elections to cast your ballot in person.  If you are a UOCAVA voter voting in person on the day before an election or on Election Day, you may vote in person at the office of your county board of elections only. An application delivered in person to the board of elections office must be received by the close of polls on Election Day.

When the board of elections issues your ballot, it will provide you with information on how to track the status of your ballot in the Centralized Ballot Tracking System.

If you have requested an absentee ballot by noon on the Saturday before the election, but have not received it, you may use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. If you receive your absentee ballot after submitting the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, you may vote it and return it via mail or in person. If both the absentee ballot and the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot are received by the 10th day after Election Day, the board of  elections will only count the absentee ballot.

 


Absentee ballot deadlines for UOCAVA voters



Requesting a ballot


·         In person: After absentee ballots are available for voting, a Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) voter may go to his or her county board of elections office or other designated location during regular business hours until the close of polls on Election Day and cast a ballot at the board office or other designated in-person voting location. Please note that if you are a UOCAVA voter voting in-person on the day before Election Day or on Election Day, you may vote only at the office of your county board of elections.
 

·         By mail: Beginning January 1 of any year, or 90 days before the date of an election, whichever is earlier, you may mail your properly-completed absentee ballot application bearing your signature to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. However, you should submit your request as far in advance of the election as possible to ensure there is sufficient time for the board to mail you a ballot and for you to timely return that ballot.
 

·         By fax: If you are an individual eligible to vote under UOCAVA, you may fax your absentee ballot request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. You may request that the board fax your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail.
 

·         By e-mail: If you are an individual eligible to vote under the UOCAVA, you may e-mail your absentee ballot request to the board of elections of the county in which your voting residence is located. The board must receive your request by noon on the Saturday before the election. You may request that the board e-mail your ballot to you, but you must return your marked ballot by mail.



UOCAVA ballots may be returned:


·         By U.S. Mail: The return envelope containing your marked ballot must be submitted for mailing no later than 12:01 a.m. on Election Day and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after the election.

·         In person, either by you or an eligible family member: Your marked ballot, which must be sealed in the completed and signed identification envelope provided with the ballot, must be delivered to the board of elections office no later than 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

 (Note: Voted ballots may be returned by mail only. If a voted ballot is returned by fax or e-mail, it may not be accepted, processed, or counted.)

 


Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot Notices

         

  Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot for Military & Overseas Voters - 45 day notice for November 7, 2017 General Election

 

 Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot for Military & Overseas Voters - 100-day notice for November 7, 2017 General Election


Please see the HOME page for complete ballot samples.