Election Day today follows busy early voting: Here’s what you need to know to vote



Montgomery County election officials expect general election voter turnout of roughly 50% or more among more than 300,000 registered voters by the time polls close Tuesday.

More than 75% of outstanding absentee ballots have already made their way back to the election board, according to election officials — far outpacing what has been witnessed locally in similar odd-year elections and the recent August special election.

Drawing voters to the polls will be numerous levy items and contested local races, and also Issues 1 and 2 — statewide issues related to abortion and adult-use marijuana legalization, respectively. Polling locations open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday across Ohio and close at 7:30 p.m.

Busy early voting

In-person early voting ended on Sunday, but election officials are still processing mailed-in or dropped-off ballots.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections on Monday reported that the county is seeing a 15% increase in early voters compared to the August special election.

The Board also surpassed early voting figures compared to the Nov. 2, 2021 election — the most recent election similar to this one — within the first full week of early voting.

Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek reported that his staff helped between 400 and 800 voters per hour during in-person voting hours.

“We continue to refine our ability to make sure voters are getting the ballots and voters have the opportunity to come in during those early voting hours,” he said on Monday during the Montgomery County Board of Elections’ regular meeting.

Returning absentee ballots

The postmark deadline for mailed-in absentee ballots was Monday.

Voters who did not mail their ballots on Monday have until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day to turn in their ballots to their local election boards or drop off their ballots in their county’s drop box.

Some voters in the area have reported not receiving an absentee ballot after mailing or dropping off a ballot request form before the Oct. 31 deadline.

Rezabek urged voters who have not received their absentee ballot after requesting one to call their local election board office for next steps. Voters will likely be asked to cast a provisional ballot at their polling location on Tuesday.

Find your polling location

Registered voters are assigned a polling location based on the precinct they reside in. Montgomery County has 381 precincts.

Voters can look up their polling location address online at either the Ohio Secretary of State’s or their local election board website. Voters can also call their local election board office for more information regarding polling locations.

Bring the right ID

Ohio voting law that went into effect this spring requires voters to present a state-issued photo ID when voting in-person. This can include a military ID card, a passport, an Ohio driver’s license or an Ohio state ID. State ID cards are free to all Ohioans who are 17 years old or older.

Rezabek reminded voters to make sure they’re bringing an unexpired ID card with them on Election Day. Expired photo IDs cannot be accepted.

Voters who lack a valid photo ID can still vote provisionally on Election Day, but they will need to prove their identity to their local election board by presenting a valid ID within four days of the election. For this election, that date is Nov. 13 due to the Veterans Day holiday.

Two state issues

All Ohio ballots will feature two statewide issues, as well as local levies and contested races.

Issue 1 is a citizen-initiated amendment that would, among other things, grant all “individuals” the right of reproductive autonomy. Issue 1 would also block the state from interfering with any reproductive decisions or penalizing Ohioans for making or aiding those decisions. A “yes” vote is in approval of the initiative, while a “no” vote is in rejection of the initiative.

Issue 2 would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults 21 years old or older, legalize home cultivation of a limited amount of marijuana plants and regulate the recreational industry. A “yes” vote is in approval of the initiative, while a “no” vote is in rejection of the initiative.

Local races

Voters can find out what local issues and candidates will appear on their ballot by visiting the Ohio Secretary of State’s website and pulling up their sample ballot.

Dayton Daily News sent Voters Guide invitations to all candidates in competitive races. Voters can read responses from their local candidates by visiting the newspaper’s Voter Guide at daytondailynews.com/voter-guide.

Visit our website on election night for the latest election results.

Disabilities and voting

In Ohio, every polling location is required to be accessible for people with disabilities. Polling locations are required to have accessible voting equipment available, set up and ready for voters to mark their ballot with privacy.

But voters who cannot enter their polling locations due to their disabilities have a right to curbside voting, according to Disability Rights Ohio, an advocacy group.

A voter with a disability may send another person into the polling location to inform poll workers of the voter’s desire to vote curbside. Two poll workers from opposite major political parties will bring out a ballot, and voters will have the option to sit in their vehicle to vote or vote at the door of the polling location, according to the Ohio Secretary of State.

Disability Rights Ohio operates a hotline on Election Day to help voters with disabilities who have questions or experience issues with voting. The hotline can be reached at 614-466-7264 or 800-292-9181 during open polling hours.

Election Day concerns

Other contacts for voting assistance also exist. Voters with questions or concerns about their polling locations or any other voting-related matter should contact their local election board.

Voters also can reach out to the nonpartisan Election Protection voter hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.

Dayton Daily News also wants to hear from voters. The newsroom can be reached at 937-610-7502.

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