COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Election Day is on the horizon and early voting has been underway — which means a number of questions might face Ohio voters, beyond having to pick their preferred candidates.
What’s on the ballot, and how do I find it?
The Nov. 8 election is a midterm, so a number of federal, state, and local candidates will be on the ballot.
This year, Ohioans will elect their next governor to a four-year term. One of Ohio’s two U.S. Senate seats — a six year-term — is also up for grabs, and with outgoing Sen. Rob Portman retiring, the high-profile race is polling tight.
But ultimately, where you live determines what’s on your ballot.
Every Ohioan will decide between the same slates of candidates in the governor’s and U.S. Senate races, and whether to ratify statewide Issue 1 and Issue 2. But down the ballot, voters are segmented into different Congressional, Ohio Senate, and Ohio House districts, which could mean someone a short drive away is voting on different candidates.
Congressional maps drawn by the Republican-led Ohio Redistricting Commission — and deemed unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court — are being used on Nov. 8. The redistricting process could have shifted whose district you fall in, too.
Your city or town and your school district also will determine what bonds or levies might appear on your ballot. A few districts in the region are considering larger, construction project bond issues.
The easiest way to see every election you’ll have the chance to vote in — before you actually do so — is by pulling up a sample version of your ballot online.
First, head to this page on the secretary of state’s website, and click on the county you’re registered to vote in.
That will take you to your county board of election’s voter information portal, where you will be prompted to fill out personal information. For Franklin County residents, that includes first and last name, birth year, and house number.
Once you do so, you can see exactly what will appear on your ballot come Election Day.
I’m casting a ballot in person. What ID should I be prepared to show?
Whether you are heading to your county board of elections to take advantage of early, in-person voting or waiting patiently to head to the polls on Election Day, Ohio mandates you bring proper identification to vote.
An Ohio driver’s license works, even with an older address, according to the secretary of state. Absent an Ohio driver’s license, your current voting address is key for your ID.
Military ID, and current — or within 12 months of Election Day — utility bills, bank statements, and government checks all will work, but student ID cards will not.
Ohio also prohibits out-of-state driver’s licenses, social security cards, passports, and insurance cards from being used as a voter ID.
For more information about what you can and can’t use as identification, head to this page on the secretary of state’s website.
Even if you don’t have the correct ID when you are trying to vote, you are still able to vote via a provisional ballot — either by providing your driver’s license, state ID, or the last four digits of your Social Security number then and there, or by going back to your board of elections within seven days of Election Day with proper identification.
Other voting-related deadlines
- The window for registering to vote is already over
- If you’re voting by mail: Make sure to request your absentee ballot by Saturday, Nov. 5. Postmark and mail back your absentee ballot by Monday, Nov. 7
- Early voting runs through Monday, Nov. 7 at each county board of elections in the state. That includes some weekend hours this weekend and next
- Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8