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Changes to Ohio’s voter ID laws impact students

The League of Women Voters hopes to inform students about preparing for the upcoming November election, emphasizing the need to vote.
The League of Women Voters hopes to inform students about preparing for the upcoming November election, emphasizing the need to vote.

In January, the state of Ohio adopted more stringent voter identification laws, and the League of Women Voters of Oxford is worried about the impact these changes will have on the ability of Miami University students to vote in the Nov. 7 election. Within Butler County, only nine provisional ballots were rejected due to the lack of a valid ID in November 2022, but after changes to the voter ID laws went into effect, 124 were rejected in the August special election. 

We are expecting many more voters to be turned away in the upcoming November election unless there is a concerted effort to educate students about the changes. 

Here is what you need to know and what you can do right now to ensure your vote is counted. 

All Miami students wishing to vote in the Nov. 7 election should verify or update their voter registration information before the Oct. 10 deadline. Visit to verify your voter registration, update your address or to register to vote. To register to vote using the online form, you need to provide your Ohio-issued driver’s license/ID number AND the last four digits of your social security number. You can also use Ohio’s Voter Registration and Information Update form, which uses only the last four digits of your social security number to verify your identity; it must be printed and mailed to the Board of Elections office. 

Miami students who have an Ohio driver’s license or Ohio BMV-issued ID and are registered to vote in Ohio: 

Do you plan to vote in person or via mail? If voting in person, make sure you report to the correct polling location and bring your Ohio-issued driver’s license or ID; your polling location can be found by visiting The address in the voter registration system does not need to match the address on the ID. Check the expiration date on your Ohio driver’s license; you can’t vote with an expired ID. To vote by mail, you may request that the ballot be delivered to your college residence when you apply for a mail-in ballot (more on that below). 

Miami students who are from out-of-state and are registered to vote in Ohio: 

It is important for you to know that the only IDs now acceptable for in-person voting are an unexpired Ohio driver’s license/Ohio ID, a U.S. military, veteran’s or National Guard ID, or a U.S. passport. If you originally came from out-of-state and still have your out-of-state driver’s license but consider Ohio to be your home, you can still vote in Ohio. Students with a U.S. passport can vote in person or by mail, and all students can vote by mail using the last four digits of their social security number. 

Should a student with an out-of-state driver’s license get an Ohio driver's license in order to vote in person? Obtaining an Ohio driver’s license requires giving up your prior driver's license, as the law prohibits anyone from holding a state-issued license from more than one state. WE DO NOT KNOW what impact this may have on your financial aid or family auto insurance policy. Consider all the factors and make the choice that’s right for you. 

To get a mail-in ballot, you must request one 

All Miami students who want to vote by mail need to ACT NOW and request a mail-in ballot. To do so, visit, print out the vote-by-mail application and mail it or physically take it to your Board of Elections. The completed application must be received by Oct. 31. Late applications will not be accepted.

As soon as you receive the ballot itself, fill it out and return it by mail to your Board of Elections. Butler County voters can also drop it off in person at the Butler County Board of Elections in Hamilton. You cannot return mail-in ballots to polling locations on Election Day. Be sure to have the right postage on your return envelope; stamps can be purchased at the post office and at Kroger. 

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Educate yourself and your friends to ensure that your voices are heard. To learn more and see your ballot, visit


  • Ohio driver’s license/interim license, an Ohio-issued state identification card, a U.S. or state military ID, or a U.S. passport must be used for IN-PERSON VOTING IN OHIO. 

  • You can verify your identity on a VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT using one of the following methods: the last 4 digits of your social security number; your Ohio driver’s license number; or by including a photocopy of one of the IDs that are approved for in-person voting. 

  • Utility bills, bank statements, paychecks and letters from the university are NO LONGER ACCEPTED for in-person voting in Ohio. 

  • Student IDs are NOT ACCEPTED. 

Jenny Fisher is the co-president of the Organization for the League of Women Voters of Oxford. The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

At The Student, we are committed to engaging with our audience and listening to feedback. This includes publishing a diverse array of guest editorials. For more information on guidelines and processes, email Devin Ankeney, The Student's opinion editor at