Felon voting rights in Ohio

Generic Jail Cell
(WDTN Photo)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Some people vote in person, vote absentee, or vote early.

For some, that privilege is impacted by their criminal behavior.

Ohio is one of 14 states that allows convicted felons who have served their sentence to vote, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

“Convicted felons are not allowed to vote if they are incarcerated, however once they served their sentence and are released they can re-register,” said Jan Kelly, Montgomery County Board of Elections director.

After the sentence is served, the felon has 30 days before the election to re-register. Unless, the felony involves an election type of conviction, like voter fraud. In that case, Kelly the felon can never vote again.

Another circumstance is If someone is charged with a felony, but hasn’t been convicted. Kelly says they have the option to vote, even if they’re behind bars. An absentee ballot can be mailed to people awaiting a court appearance in or out of jail. They just have to apply for it at least a week before the election.

“Often times you’re looking at an under-educated portion of society who hear rumors in jail that they cant vote and it’s good to get the word out that they can vote again in the state of Ohio,” said Kelly.

All convicted felons have their right to vote automatically restored upon completion of sentence, and must register to vote. Those on probation and/or parole may register.

For more information on registering to vote in Montgomery County, click here.

If a misdemeanor is advanced to a felony, the same rules apply.

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