Voting is one of the most important rights that American citizens have. It allows us to participate in our democracy and voice our concerns to our representatives. However, there is a common misconception that if you are convicted of a felony you cannot vote in Ohio. That is simply not the case.
Most states permit those convicted of a felony to have their voting rights restored to them. This is typically automatically done once the person is released from prison, discharged from parole, or otherwise complete their sentence. Only a handful of states condition the restoration of voting rights upon the type of conviction or petitioning the government.
Ohio is one of 14 states that permit ex-felons to vote once they have served their sentence or are released from prison. Ohio also allows felons to vote while on parole or community control (i.e., probation). The only limitation is that those persons convicted of a felony involving voter fraud or other electoral matter lose their voting rights.
I am Charged with a Felony and Waiting on Trial. Am I Allowed to Vote?
Anyone charged with a felony, but not convicted (i.e., waiting for trial), is allowed to vote in Ohio. Even if you are in custody awaiting trial, you are permitted to vote via the use of an absentee ballot.
Am I Allowed to Vote if I Have Misdemeanor Convictions?
Yes. Misdemeanor convictions do not exclude a person from voting.
Are Voting Rights Restored Automatically?
After you serve your sentence, your right to vote is automatically restored. However, your ability to vote is not. Under Ohio law, you must re-register to vote at least 30 days before a scheduled election. This can be accomplished by mail, in person at the county Board of Elections office, or submitting an application through the BMV or county treasurer office. Even though your right to vote is restored automatically upon completing your sentence, failure to re-register to vote will make you ineligible.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your criminal offense case.
Johnson Legal, LLC serves the following cities in the central Ohio area for Criminal Defense:
Westerville, Worthington, Columbus, Polaris, Reynoldsburg, Grandview Heights, Shawnee Hills, Bexley, Pickerington, Gahanna, Sunbury, Powell, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Dublin, Hilliard, Lewis Center, Galena, Clintonville, Huber Ridge, Blacklick, Grove City, Delaware, Marysville, Groveport, Newark, Canal Winchester, Obetz, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Pataskala, Granville, Whitehall, Franklin County, Morrow County, Licking County, Knox County, Union County, Madison County and Delaware County