Everything You Need To Know To Vote In The March 17 Primary
Tuesday's Ohio primary election will apparently go on, after a Franklin County judge rejected an attempt by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to delay it until June 2 because of coronavirus concerns.
The ruling from Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Frye came late Monday afternoon. There were indications that the state might appeal, but that had not happened by 8 p.m. – 10-and-a-half hours before the polls in Ohio were scheduled to open.
Fry said it would set a bad precedent if the court stepped in to stop an election at such a late hour, without action by the state legislature.
Former Ohio Department of Aging Director Judith Brachman was one of the citizens who filed the lawsuit for DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose. Brachman's argument was that, under the circumstances of an unprecedented public health crisis, elderly Ohioans – those most at risk of infection – should not be forced to choose between voting and jeopardizing their health.
The leaders of both major political parties, Ohio GOP chairwoman Jane Timken and Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper, were in favor of the lawsuit, although Pepper wanted to continue absentee voting to an earlier date than June 2.
So for now, Ohio voters will head to the polls to decide on a host of issues and candidates to represent their state. Here's everything you need to know before heading into the voting booth.
Who/What Am I Voting For?
A whole bunch of stuff. On the national level, there's the Democratic nomination for president. (Current Republican President Donald Trump is running unopposed.) Locally, voters will see options for the two Ohio Supreme Court seats as well as various district and county seats that are up for grabs in November. Here's how to find out what races are contested and the issues on the ballot in your county:
And in case you missed it, WVXU's team has done extensive interviews with many of the local candidates Hamilton County residents will see on the ballot, as well as an explainer on the lone issue: Issue 7.
- Meet Kate Schroder And Nikki Foster, The 2 Women Trying To Unseat Steve Chabot
- A Conversation With Fanon Rucker And Gabe Davis, Vying For Hamilton County Prosecutor
- Why This Is A Very Unusual Sheriff's Race In Hamilton County
- Meet The 3 Women Running For The Democratic Nomination For Hamilton County Commission
- What You Need To Know About Issue 7, The Transit Levy
Am I Registered To Vote?
Check to see if you are registered to vote via the following links if you live in:
Please note you needed to have registered by Feb. 18, 2020 in order to vote in this primary election in Ohio. If you discover you are not registered, , but you will not be able to vote on Tuesday.
Where Do I Vote?
Find your polling place by clicking on the link below of the county you live in:
You can find this information for all 88 of Ohio's counties at the Ohio Secretary of State website, MyOhioVote.com.
*** Coronavirus Concerns Have Changed Some Polling Locations ***
It is important to note that some polling locations -- particularly those at nursing homes -- have changed due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. It is highly recommended you confirm your polling location before heading out the door.
Additionally, Secretary of State Frank LaRose recently announced that all Ohio polling stations would be offering curbside voting to any voter "concerned about coming inside a polling location." He has also ordered boards to accept absentee ballots from hospitalized voters and others who are self-quarantined until 3 p.m. on Election Day.
Hamilton County is also allowing voters to bring their own blue or black pens.
What Times Do Polls Open And Close?
Polls in Ohio are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. If you are in line at 7:30 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
Do I Need ID To Vote?
Yes. Ohio law requires it. You can find a list of acceptable forms of identification here.
If you do not bring an acceptable form of ID, or if your eligibility is in question, you can still vote using a provisional ballot. If you do that, you must go to your county board of elections within a week to with an acceptable form of ID for your vote to be counted in final election totals.
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