If you want to cast a ballot in the Nov. 5 election, the deadline to register to vote is Monday.
Those registered to vote will have a chance to weigh in on a number of hot local issues on the ballot.
Local communities will elect dozens of mayors, school board members and township trustees on Nov. 5, while tax levies on that ballot will help decide the future of West Carrollton’s schools, Riverside’s roads, Troy’s parks and several other communities.
Colleen Dempsey, practice associate with National Association of Social Workers – Ohio Chapter, who has been working on voter education, said presidential election years draw out a bigger crowd of voters, but local elections can have big consequences in peoples’ lives. Only a small number of votes can sway ballot measures that have big impacts in residents’ everyday lives.
“I think it’s time to talk about the school board and the city council and the judicial races, and how they impact day-to-day life,” Dempsey said.
The state has removed some Ohioans from the voter registration rolls who have not cast a ballot in recent years.
VOTERS GUIDE: Find out what’s on your ballot for the November election
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says the move is to keep the voter registration list updated and accurate. Critics say the purge of voters from the system is not necessary and will suppress voter turnout.
Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, said everyone should check to see if their registration is up to date, even people who voted recently.
“Registration is the first step of participating in our great democracy of voters,” Miller said.
Earlier this year, Ohio canceled the registrations of about 267,000 voters after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state’s process of purging those who have not cast ballots for six years is constitutional.
Another 235,610 people were sent last-chance notices by Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections in July to warn them that their registration would be canceled on Sept. 6 unless they took action. Thousands of those voters were mistakenly added to that list, though, and should not have received last-chance notices.
To see whether you’ve been removed from the voting roll go to voteohio.gov and click on “check my voter registration.” You can also go to voteohio.gov to register to vote, change your address or learn more about voting options in Ohio.
Dempsey said along with registering, it’s important to have a plan on how you are going to vote and she said early voting is a good way to make sure you cast your ballot, because it is easy to get tied up the day of the election.
“We’ve all had something come up that keeps us tied up from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” Dempsey said.
All Ohio voters whose registration information is up-to-date can vote in any election from home by requesting an absentee ballot. Starting the day after the close of voter registration, all registered voters may request and vote using an absentee ballot in person at their county board of elections or early voting center as designated by the county.
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