By Pulse Staff
Midterm Elections are next week in Ohio and across the country. Early in-person voting is up across the state as the Nov. 8 Election Day nears.
On Nov. 1, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that requests for early in-person and absentee ballots totaled “1,243,505, a 2.6 percent increase over the same point in the 2018 gubernatorial statewide election. As a part of that total, 265,062 Ohioans have now voted early in-person and 978,443 have requested an absentee ballot by mail,” according to the Ohio SOS website. At the beginning of the week, 56.5% of the requested absentee ballots had already been returned. It also says that overall, 817,644 Ohioans have already cast their ballot, up from 736,464 in 2018.
There is very little time to request an absentee ballot. According to the Ohio SOS website, “The deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days before the election in which you want to vote, but voters can submit their application any time. If mailed, absentee ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election in order to be counted. You can also return your absentee ballot in-person to your county board of elections before the close of the polls at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.”.
The SOS website states that all Ohio voters whose registration information is up-to-date can vote via absentee ballot. So, if you don’t want to drive home on election day you can vote via absentee ballot. You have to fill out and return an
Early in-person voting began Oct. 12. You can vote in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. On Election Day, Nov. 8., polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.
What’s on the ballot
Big races on the ballot include the gubernatorial race between Republican incumbent Mike DeWine, and Democrat Nan Whaley, a former Dayton mayor. According to a Nov. 3 FiveThirtyEight poll, DeWine leads Whaley 56.1% to 36.4%. DeWine refused to debate Whaley throughout the campaign, according to multiple news outlets. However, he leads Whaley in campaign cash and in most polls.
If elected, Whaley would be the first woman in the governor’s seat for the state of Ohio.
Another much-watched statewide race is the replacement for U.S. Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio. In a fairly tight race, Republican candidate J.D. Vance was leading Democratic candidate Tim Ryan 47.2%-44.5% in a Nov. 3 FiveThirtyEight poll.
Vance is running as a “conservative outsider” and is probably best known as the author of Hillbilly Elegy which was made into a movie. It gained popularity on Netflix in 2020.
Ryan is running as an “advocate for Ohio’s working families” and is in his 10th term as a U.S. Representative for the 13th Congressional District of Ohio in the Akron and Youngstown area.
Ohio voters will also vote on two statewide issues.
State Issue 1 is a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution. It would “require courts to consider factors like public safety when setting the amount of bail,” according to the SOS website. As part of considering public safety, the court would need to look at the seriousness of the offense, as well as a person’s criminal record, the likelihood a person will return to court, and any other factor the Ohio General Assembly may prescribe. This would “remove the requirement that the procedures for establishing the amount and conditions of bail be determined by the Supreme Court of Ohio,” according to the SOS website.
State Issue 2 is another proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would prohibit local government from allowing non-U.S. citizens to vote. According to the SOS website, “the measure would amend Section 1 of Article V, Section 3 of Article X, and Section 3 of Article XVIII of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.” This would “require that only a citizen of the United States, who is at least 18 years of age and who has been a legal resident and registered voter for at least 30 days, can vote at any state or local election held in this state.” It would also “prohibit local governments from allowing a person to vote in local elections if they are not legally qualified to vote in state elections.”
Voter registration deadline for the Nov. 9 election was Oct. 11