Voting Difficult for Off-Campus Students

If you are a student registered to vote in Ohio and are living off-campus, you might encounter some difficulty when voting at your precinct’s location if you can’t provide the proper identification. Utility bills, bank statements, paychecks, and government documents are generally valid if they include the current street address where you are living (and registered) and are dated within the past year. If all your mail is directed to your OCMR number, then you have a problem. Please note that out-of-state driver’s licenses, passports, Oberlin College ID cards, leases, and Social Security cards are not adequate to receive a regular ballot. Students living off-campus received an email Sept. 25 from the Dean of Students account with information about how to request a letter from State Rep. Dan Ramos that can function as sufficient identification.

If you have a problem providing the proper identification, then you might consider requesting an absentee ballot before the election instead of completing a provisional ballot at the polls. In Ohio, any registered voter may request such a ballot. Doing so is not difficult. Use your internet browser to go to and click on “Print an Absentee Ballot Request Form” in the left column. You will then see a PDF document that you can print. It will take just a few minutes to complete the application and send it to the address shown at the bottom of the form. You may use the last four digits of your Social Security number for identification. Then, when you receive your ballot, mark your choices and send it back in the envelope provided for you.

Voting is a privilege of citizenship. Exercise this privilege in a way that is most convenient for you this election.

Kevin Weidenbaum
Director of Client Services Emeritus