Ohio's August election will be a little wacky thanks to gerrymandering and court cases, but residents still need to register to vote in it.
Tuesday, July 5, is the last day to register to vote or update voter registration information to be eligible to vote in Ohio's Aug. 2 special primary. The election will feature state district races and members of the state central committees for both the Republican and Democratic parties. In Miami Township in Hamilton County, voters also will cast their ballots on the sale of liquor on a Sunday. See all candidates, issues, polling locations and important calendar dates in Hamilton County.
Duty-bound stragglers cutting it close still have a few options, despite the late date.
Ohioans can register to vote online, by mail or in person, depending on if they will be at least 18 years old on or before the Nov. 8 general election, have been an Ohio resident for at least 30 days before the Aug. 2 special primary election, have a state driver's license or identification card and a Social Security number (only U.S. citizens may vote). People who have been incarcerated for a felony must re-register to vote.
Those with all of the required elements may register online immediately at voteohio.gov.
Residents who would rather register in person, who have questions or who are missing some of the required elements should visit an Ohio county board of elections office for the fastest service by the deadline. Other designated agencies approved by the secretary of state can assist with registering to vote, but all materials still need to be filed with the secretary of state on July 5.
Ohioans can find forms to register to vote or update voter registration on the secretary of state's website. Voters also can find Ohio's FAQs about voting, plus the Hamilton County Board of Elections has information about registering to vote and casting a ballot.
Polls will be open for in-person voting 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Aug. 2, the special election day (valid identification is required). Registered voters also may cast absentee ballots at their county board of elections office or by mail beginning July 6, with the deadline to request an absentee ballot being the Saturday before the election (or July 30). There are also early voting options. See the full schedule on Ohio's secretary of state website.
The Aug. 2 special election will mark the first time that Ohioans will vote under the state's new district maps, which the Ohio Supreme Court has repeatedly deemed unconstitutional due to their favoring Republicans. In June, the state's Republican-led redistricting committee ignored the court's deadline for submitting yet another set of redrawn maps. Republican members of the commission have said they can’t be held in contempt for their actions (or, as characterized by critics of the commission’s work, inaction) due to legislative immunity and the separation of powers doctrine they say bars the court from exerting power over the legislative branch.
Looking ahead, the deadline to register for the November general election is Oct. 11.
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