Secretary of State says 17-year-olds have limited voting in Ohio primary

Seventeen-year-olds can cast a vote on some candidates, even in congressional races, because that is not a direct vote for a candidate or delegate.

Voters cast their ballot at the athletic wing of Orange High School, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Moreland Hills, Ohio. (WCMH)
Courtesy: WCMH

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is barring 17-year-olds who will turn 18 before the general elections from casting a ballot for president in the Ohio primary.

Seventeen-year-olds can cast a vote on some candidates, even in congressional races, because that is not a direct vote for a candidate or delegate.

They will be barred in Ohio from voting for a presidential nominee, or on issues like school levies. As Husted puts it, only people 18 years old or older can directly vote for delegates and issues.

Democrats are crying foul, saying Husted is changing the rules about who can vote in our state.

The rule in question appears on page 314 of an election manual:

Ohio law allows a 17-year-old voter who will be 18 years of age on or before the date of the next general election to vote in the primary election solely on the nomination of candidates. This is because the 17-year-old voter will be eligible to vote for the nominees at the November general election.

As with every voter, a 17-year-old voter must be registered to vote and satisfy Ohio’s voter identification requirements.

Voters who are 17 years old as of the primary election are not permitted to vote on any of the following:

• State Party Central Committee

• County Party Central Committee

• Questions and Issues

In presidential primary elections, a 17-year-old voter is not permitted to vote for presidential delegates, because delegates are elected and not nominated.

The ballot style given to a seventeen-year-old voter is determined in accordance with the type of voting system used by the county and instructions of the board.

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