Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be registered in order to vote?

Yes. In order to vote in Wayne County, you must be a resident of the county.

What address may I list as my residence?

Ohio law establishes your residence as the place to which, whenever you are absent, you have the intent to return. A post office box or a business address is not an acceptable address for your residence. Leaving for temporary purposes, such as military service or school attendance, does not result in change of residence for voting purposes, unless you register to vote in the area where you have moved.

What if I have moved or changed my name?

If you are now registered and move anywhere within the state of Ohio or change your name, you must report the change. If you have moved, you can update your address online using the website, or complete a Voter Registration Form. If you have changed your name, you can up that by submitting a Change of Name form.

Can a college student vote from their school address?

Yes, if the student establishes that place as his or her residence and registers to vote. Otherwise, the student must vote in his or her home county where they are registered to vote.

What if I am homeless, living in a homeless shelter, or living in temporary housing?

If you have someplace that will accept mail for you (for example, a friend’s or relative’s home, a church, a food pantry), you can register from that address. You need to give an address so the Board of Elections knows where to send the postcard telling you the location of your polling place.

Where do I vote?

You vote in the precinct in which you reside. You will receive a postcard from the Board of Elections that will notify you of your Ward and/or precinct and voting location when you register. See our Precinct Locations page for specific voting locations. You may also access polling locations, sample ballots, and check your voter registration through the links on our home page. If you have moved, but have not updated your voter registration, call the Board of Elections 330-287-5480 for your new precinct and voting location.

Do I declare my political affiliation when I register to vote?

No. Under Ohio law, a person’s political party affiliation is determined by choosing to vote a party ballot at a partisan Primary Election.

May I vote on ballot issues in a Primary Election without declaring a political affiliation?

Yes. You may vote on questions and issues on the ballot without voting for candidates of a political party. Ask for an issues only ballot when you go to vote.

What is Early Voting?

Technically, there is no such thing as “Early Voting.” What this term has come to mean is the ability of the voter to cast his/her vote before Election Day IN PERSON at their local Board of Elections. By definition, this is still considered absentee voting.

May I vote if I have been convicted of a crime?

A person currently serving time in jail or prison for a felony conviction cannot register to vote or vote. Additionally, a person who has twice been convicted of a violation of the elections laws is permanently barred from voting in Ohio. An otherwise qualified person convicted of a misdemeanor may vote, and one convicted of a felony may register and vote while on probation or parole or after completing his or her jail or prison sentence.

Can I check my voter information online?

Yes. You may check your voter information on our Check Voter Registration Page. If performing such a search returns the information you registered, the Board of Elections has successfully processed your voter registration form. If the search does not return your information, please contact us at 330-287-5480 to check on the status of your registration.

What time are the polls open?

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

How are votes counted and when are they reported?

Votes come from five different categories — In-person absentee voting at the Board of Elections Office on machine; absentee voting by a paper ballot; voting at the precinct on Election Day on a machine; voting at the precinct on Election Day by a paper ballot; and by a provisional ballot. The results posted on Election Night are UNOFFICIAL — meaning they aren’t the final, certified results. Election Night results include all absentee ballots received in our office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, and all ballots cast at the polls. The OFFICIAL results, which are tabulated beginning 10 days after the UNOFFICIAL results are collected, include all the UNOFFICIAL results, plus any absentee ballots postmarked by the day before the election and received by our office within 10 days after the election. Also included in the OFFICIAL total are valid provisional ballots.

When are Elections held?

Primary elections are held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May, except in a Presidential Year, in which case the date is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. General Elections are the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and Special Elections may be held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in February and August as required.

Can voters be challenged?

On Election Day, ONLY a precinct election official or the Voting Location Manager at the check-in table can challenge voter and only for the following reasons:

  • The voter is not a resident of the precinct;
  • The voter is not a resident of Ohio;
  • The voter is not a U.S. citizen;
  • The voter is not of legal voting age

If challenged by a precinct election official for one of the reasons given above, the prospective voter should complete the Affidavit Oath Examination of Person Challenged (Form 10-U).

Can I wear campaign attire to a polling location?

By law, the polling location must be free of any campaign paraphernalia, including attire. So you will be politely asked to remove or cover campaign items.

What is a Candidate Committee?

A Candidate Committee is formed when a person seeking public office receives or expends, or has agreed to let another receive or expend, monies in regards to that candidacy. Personal monies and candidacy monies are not to be co-mingled. A current Designation of Treasurer form must be filed with the board.

What is a Political Party Committee?

A political party is an organization whose candidates received five-percent or more of the vote for governor and lieutenant governor or nominees for presidential elector at last election. A new political party may be created by petition process, but its candidates must meet the five-percent requirement at the next election for governor or president to retain political party status.

What is a Political Action Committee (PAC)?

Two or more persons who receive or spend items or money in an attempt to influence the outcome of an election. It does not include candidates’ committees, legislative campaign funds or political parties. Clubs, associations and parent/teacher organizations can be political action committees if:

  • One of the main reasons for the groups existence is related to supporting or opposing candidates or ballot issues. It often engages in political activity.
  • Funds were specifically raised for political activity. [R.C.3517.01(B)(8)].
What is your Public Records Policy?

Wayne County Board of Elections Public Records Policy

Note: Many public records requests can be completed using our self-serve Online Information Tools available under the resources tab above or by clicking "Oline Information Tools" below.

It is the policy of the Wayne County Board of Elections Office (WCBOE) that, as required by Ohio law, records will be organized and maintained so that they are readily available for inspection and copying. It is the policy of WCBOE to strictly adhere to Ohio’s Public Records Act. All exemptions to openness are to be construed in their narrowest sense and any denial of public records in response to a valid request must be accompanied by an explanation, including legal authority, as outlined in the Ohio Revised Code. If the request is in writing, the explanation must also be in writing. Record retention schedules are to be updated regularly and posted prominently.


Section 1: Definition of a Public Record


The Wayne County Board of Elections Office, in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, defines records as including the following: Any document – paper, electronic (including, but not limited to, e-mail), or other format – that is created or received by, or comes under the jurisdiction of a public office that documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office. All records of WCBOE are public unless they are specifically exempt from disclosure under the Ohio Revised Code.


Section 2: Request of Public Records


Each request for public records should be evaluated for a response using the following guidelines.


Although no specific language is required to make a request, the requester must at least identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow the public office to identify, retrieve, and review the records. If it is not clear what records are being sought, the employee must contact the requester for clarification, and should assist the requestor in revising the request by informing the requestor of the manner in which the office keeps its records.


The requestor does not have to put a records request in writing, and does not have to provide his or her identity or the intended use of the requested public record. It is the Wayne County Board of Elections Office general policy that this information is not to be requested.


Section 3: Availability of Public Records


Public records are to be available for inspection during regular business hours, with the exception of published holidays. Public records must be made available for inspection promptly. Copies of public records must be made available within a reasonable period of time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the records are stored; and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.


Section 4: Availability of Public Records Policy including Records Retention Schedules


Wayne County Board of Elections Office Public Records policy will be available in their office via hard copy. It will also be available on their website under Public Records Policy. Individual schedules are on file with the records retention custodian.


Section 5: Process for Releasing Public Records


Each request should be evaluated for an estimated length of time required to gather the records. Routine requests for records should be satisfied immediately if feasible to do so. Routine requests include, but are not limited to, meeting minutes (both in draft and final form), budgets, salary information, forms and applications, personnel rosters, etc. If fewer than 20 pages of copies are requested or if the records are readily available in an electronic format that can be e-mailed or downloaded easily, these should be made as quickly as the equipment allows. [If more copies are requested or if it is in the two weeks prior to an election, an appointment should be made with the requester on when the copies or computer files can be picked up.]


All requests for public records must either be satisfied or be acknowledged in writing by Wayne County Board of Elections Office within three business days following the office’s receipt of the request. If a request is deemed significantly beyond “routine,” such as seeking a voluminous number of copies or requiring extensive research, the acknowledgement must include the following:


A. An estimated number of business days it will take to satisfy the request.

B. An estimated cost if copies are requested.

C. Any items within the request that may be exempt from disclosure.


Any denial of public records requested must include an explanation, including legal authority. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions are to be redacted and the rest released. If there are redactions, each redaction must be accompanied by a supporting explanation, including legal authority.


Section 6: Denial of Public Records Request


Any denial of public records requested must include an explanation, including legal authority. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions are to be redacted and the rest released. If there are redactions, each redaction must be accompanied by a supporting explanation, including legal authority.


Section 7: Costs for Public Records


A. Precinct by precinct lists of voters: fifty (50) cents per precinct

B. Mailing labels; three (3) cents per label with a ten (10) dollar deposit required

C. Copy requests by other county offices will be provided free of charge.

D. Copies of any document not listed: five (5) cents per copy.

E. There is no charge for documents e-mailed.

F. Downloaded computer files to a compact disc will be $5.00 per disc.

(a disc cannot be up dated at no cost)

G. Copy request may be faxed to a requestor at the cost of the copies and a $1.00 fax charge.

H. Voter id cards: fifty (50) cents

I. Absentee Voter labels (AV). Sign up to receive AV labels daily for election and you will be billed after the election is over at three (3) cents per label.


Requesters may ask that documents be mailed to them. They may be charged the actual cost of the postage and mailing supplies.


Section 8: Maintenance of Public Records


It is the policy of the Wayne County Board of Elections Office that, as required by Ohio law, records will be organized and maintained so that they are readily available for inspection and copying (See Section 10 for the e-mail record policy).


All public records will be maintained by the responsible employees according to public records law and approved retention schedules.

While an overwhelming majority of the documentation produced by Wayne County Board of Elections Office is considered public record, Section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code states which records are not subject to public disclosure.

Original copies of public documents shall not be given to the public except:

By court order;

By an investigator or

By the Members Board of the Wayne County Board of Elections or designee

Should a file need to be removed from public records section, a records control card will be placed in the file’s space indicating employee’s name, date of removal, name of file and the reason for removal.

Section 2.8 of the County’s Personnel Policy Manual shall be followed when releasing employment/payroll records.

If a citizen requests more than ten (10) public records in a month, the citizen shall submit a written letter to the Board of Elections that she/he does not intend to use or forward this information for commercial purposes. Otherwise, that citizen will be limited to ten (10) public records requests per month.


Section 9: Media Relations Regarding Public Records


A. The Wayne County Board of Elections Office shall respond to the media in a prompt and respectful manner.

B. If the media requests a public record, this policy shall apply.


Section 10: E-Mails as Public Records


Documents in electronic mail format are records as defined by the Ohio Revised Code when their content relates to the business of the office. E-mail is to be treated in the same fashion as records in other formats and should follow the same retention schedules.


Records in private e-mail accounts used to conduct public business are subject to disclosure, and all employees or representatives of this office are instructed to retain their e-mail that relate to public business and to copy them to their business e-mail accounts and/or to the office’s records custodian.


The records custodian is to treat the e-mails from private accounts as records of the public office, filing them in the appropriate way, retaining them per established schedules and making them available for inspection and copying in accordance with the Public Records Act.


Section 11: Failure to Respond to a Public Records Request


The Wayne County Board of Elections Office recognizes the legal and non-legal consequences of failure to properly respond to a public records request. In addition to the distrust in government that failure to comply may cause. The Wayne County Board of Elections Office’s failure to comply with a request may result in a court ordering The Wayne County Board of Elections Office’s comply with the law and to pay the requester attorney’s fees and damages.


Section 12: General Exemptions from Public Record Law


The Wayne County Board of Elections Office’s will adhere to the general exemptions from the Public Records Law in accordance to House Bill 9 (as sign by the Governor) listing the exemptions stated under O.R.C. 149.43 and under 2923.129.