State Fact Sheet

Election Websites: Ohio

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OH BONE2Researchers assessed state election websites for the Pew Center on the States between May-November 2010, using detailed criteria evaluating the content, lookup tools, and usability. Websites may have changed since they were assessed. See methodology (PDF).

Strengths include:

  • Instructional videos in various formats demonstrating the types of voting equipment used throughout the state.
  • Current and archived election results displayed in percentages, by counties, and by precincts.
  • Comprehensive resource section for voters with disabilities.
  • Complete information for military and overseas voters about how to register, request absentee ballots, and obtain and use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot.
  • Simple voter registration lookup tool.
  • Polling place locator accessible by street address that includes maps, directions, and the estimated time it would take to travel from the voter's home to the polling location.
  • A Google search returns the website as the first result when searching for “register to vote in Ohio” and “polling places in Ohio.”

Recommended improvements include:

  • Provide a way for military voters to check the status of their absentee ballots (33 states offer).
  • Furnish candidate information such as phone numbers (23 states offer), e-mail addresses (19 offer), websites (20 offer), candidate statements (6 offer), and occupations (6 offer).
  • Provide archived lists of candidates from past elections (31 states offer).
  • Present a list of official state political parties (38 offer) and contact information, or links to party websites (32 states offer).
  • Provide job descriptions for elective offices (5 states offer).
  • Offer lookup tools for voters to learn the status of their absentee ballot (29 states offer), sample ballot (22 offer), or provisional ballot (19 offer).
  • Implement navigation that is logical and consistent on each page.
  • Reduce redundancy of site content.
  • Use easy-to-scan text that is concise, with bullet points and hyperlinks.

Noteworthy Feature: An interactive, mini-version of the state's election calendar appears on nearly every page of the website, reminding voters of upcoming important dates and deadlines.

Initial Quick Fix: Ohio could improve the security of voters' sensitive personal information by transitioning the lookup tool for voter registration status to a secure server (35 states offer).

Summary: Ohio's website is above average in terms of content. The state offers just two out of five recommended lookup tools, however, lowering its overall score. was assessed for content and lookup tools. was assessed for usability.

Media Contact

Kelly Hoffman