College students struggle with voting address issues


College students struggle with voting address issues

Gianna DaPra, TV2 Reporter

Across the state, college students have been trying to register to vote online – but most are running into some problems.

Portage County’s Board of Elections Deputy Director Terry Nielsen said, “The potential problem with voting online is the Secretary of State’s site looks at the information that the voter is putting into the voter registration system, and tries to match that with read information from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. If a student already has a driver’s license from home and has their home address on it, that’s going to show up as a mismatch.”

For students living on campus, having a “mismatch” like that will result in them having to potentially change their current address to their on-campus one or file to register on paper and mail it.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose is in charge of how the voter registration is handled. In an email to TV2 he said, “Ohio law requires the information that a new voter submits via our website to match what the Ohio BMV system has on file. If the information does not match, a voter will be directed to complete the paper voter registration form.”

He also stated, “Any Ohioan who has a drivers license can change their drivers license address online for free at (A new ID is not sent, but a postcard verifying the address change is.) The BMV also offers the option to change your voter registration address via their system after you submit the address change.”

If you are not willing to change your address and you have to print out a registration paper, you can do so at the Kent State Library. You can also request to have one mailed to you from the Portage County Board of Elections and mail it back to them or put it in a drop box outside their building. The Kent Free Library  is a voter registered facility you can turn your paper into as well. 

To get a registration form or register online go to:

The last day to register to vote is October 5th and the last day to request an absentee ballot is October 31st. 

Gianna DaPra is a TV2 reporter. Contact her at [email protected]