The months-long push by political campaigns to register Ohio voters is done, and is now replaced with a concentrated effort to get people to lock in their votes when early voting starts today.
Tuesday was the last chance Ohioans had to register to vote in the hugely contentious Nov. 8 election.
Those who are registered will get to cast votes for president, U.S. Senate and Congress, the Ohio legislature, Ohio Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the State Board of Education, county officials and judges. Statewide there also are 1,804 local issues — including levies for schools, police and fire services, and a variety of municipal charter amendments on the ballot.
Boards will begin extended hours today to accommodate early voters.
“We try to get as many people to come in an vote,” said Jason Baker, director of the Clark County Board of Elections. “I just think it’s a great opportunity. Ohio law provides people ample time throughout the day to come in and vote.”
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted sent 1.6 million reminder cards to Ohioans who are eligible to vote but not registered.
“We’re certainly doing everything we can to try to make sure that people have the information they need and they’re engaged and ready to participate,” said Josh Eck, press secretary for Husted.
On Labor Day Husted’s office sent out absentee ballot applications to all registered voters and he will send a second round of ballot applications to those who registered after Labor Day, Eck said.
Ohio allowed military and overseas voters to began casting absentee ballots on Sept. 24 but the rest of the state’s voters start on Wednesday. Officials at area boards of election said they like the growing popularity of early in-person and by-mail absentee voting because it cuts down on the lines at the polls on Election Day and makes things more convenient for voters.
WHEN CAN YOU VOTE EARLY?
You can start voting early today, Oct. 12 at your county board of elections. Here are the early voting hours statewide:
October 12 - 14: 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
October 17 - 21: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
October 24 - 28: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
October 29: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
October 30 : 1 p.m.- 5 p.m.
October 31 - Nov. 4: 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.
November 5: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
November 6: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
November 7: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
WHAT PROTECTS YOUR VOTE IN OHIO?
Multiple layers of protection are in place to make sure that your vote will count.
Voting machines and the equipment that tabulates the votes are never connected to the internet.
Vote results reported online are not the final official results so any online disruption on Election Night would not change the actual results.
Official voter registration records are stored at county boards so any tampering with the statewide online registration list will not officially remove anyone’s name.
On Election Day the number of ballots cast at each polling place is reconciled with the number of voters who sign in to vote so people can’t vote more than once.
Two person teams made up of one Republican and one Democrat do every job at all 88 boards of election in Ohio.
You are in control of your vote when you verify your votes before casting your ballot.