Illustration by Abbie Kinney

Election poll necessities

Published November 2, 2023

Election poll necessities

5 things to bring to the election polls

By William Troyer | The Beat

Election season has once again returned, and with several important issues on the ballot this season, you must go out and vote to have your voice heard and be an active citizen in our democracy.

With that being said, some people may be voting for the first time this election season. If so, you’re in luck. This guide will help you ensure you have everything you need before you get to the polls on or before Nov. 7.

Here are five things to bring to the election polls:


The most important thing to remember to bring with you — especially because it’s a requirement in the state of Ohio — is a valid form of photo identification, such as a passport, driver's license, state ID card or U.S. military card. Keep note it must be non-expired. Also, if you’re over the age of 17 and don’t have a state ID card, you can receive one for free at your local BMV. All IDs must have an expiration date that has not passed, a photograph and the voter’s name. Former modes of identification, such as an electric bill with a name and address, are no longer valid.

Voter guides

You officially know it’s election season when these start arriving in your mailbox. Voter guides give voters of all ages information about the issues, levies and other important information about the ballot. Bring these with you to the polls as a form of notes for yourself so that you don’t have to memorize the issues and what they do. This year expect them to focus on Issues 1 and 2.

Sample ballot

Much like a voter guide, a sample ballot is what the ballot you will vote with will look like. To view the sample ballot from your specific Ohio county, you can go to the Secretary of State’s website. Click the county on the map, and enter your voter information. A sample ballot will ensure you are more comfortable with the real ballot and how to fill it out.

Water, snacks and absentee ballots

Expect long lines at the polls, especially on Election Day. Bring snacks, water and a chair to stay hydrated, fed and rested while you wait to participate. If you’ve voted ahead of time, make sure you turn your ballot in at your Board of Elections on Election Day before it closes at 7:30 p.m.

Friends and family

Nothing is better than voting with friends and family. This Election Day, bring your friends, family and even co-workers so you can all have your voices heard. Early voting is available now in Ohio, and polls will be open on Election Day from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

AUTHOR: William Troyer

EDITOR: Grace Brezine

COPY EDITOR: Addie Hedges