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VOTING 101: A one-stop guide to Ohio's 2016 election

Posted: 4:54 PM, Nov 03, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-07 13:29:53Z
VOTING 101: Ohio's 2016 election
VOTING 101: Ohio's 2016 election

On behalf of Election Day, we've made a voter survival guide for November 8th. 

This explainer is broken into several sections. You can jump to sections using the following links:

Index

Voting 101

Sample Ballot

Ballot amendments and citizen initiatives

Helpful resources

Common voting myths

VOTING 101

When is election day?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

How do I register to vote?

The voter registration deadline in Ohio was October 11. Check to see if you’re registered to vote here.

I’m so excited, I want to vote right now (before Election Day)!

You can! You can vote early until election day. Search your address in this Google form and it will tell you where your county's Board of Elections is to cast your vote early.

Nevermind, I’ll just vote on Election Day.

On Election day go to your assigned polling location and bring an acceptable form of identification. They are:

  • An unexpired Ohio drivers licence or ID
  • An unexpired photo ID issued by the Ohio or U.S. government that includes your name and current address
  • A military ID
  • A current utility, bank statement, paycheck, or government check that includes your name and current address
  • Any government document that shows your name and address

I need to vote by mail-in, what do I do?

Go to the Secretary of State's website and get an absentee ballot request form or call 1-877-767-6446 to request a ballot by mail. Fill out the application by providing name, home address, county, birthday, and drivers license number. If you do not have a drivers license you must provide the last four numbers of your SSN, or a photocopy of valid forms of ID. In order to vote you must mail your ballot back to your county board of elections by November 7, or return your signed and completed ballot in person by November 8. You can check the status of your ballot based on your county here

What is a provisional ballot? Do I need one? 

According to the Ohio Secretary of State's website, a provisional ballot is used to record a vote if a voter's eligibility is in question and the voter would otherwise not be permitted to vote at their polling place. The content of a provisional ballot is no different from a regular ballot, but it is cast "provisionally" until election officials can verify the voter's eligibility to vote in the particular precinct at that election.

A provisional ballot may be used on Election Day if a voter's eligibility is in question, or before (or on) Election Day if a voter has recently changed his or her address and did not update his or her voter registration.

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SAMPLE BALLOT

NATIONAL:

PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT

HILLARY CLINTON / TIM KAINE – D

DONALD J. TRUMP / MICHAEL R. PENCE – R

GARY JOHNSON / BILL WELD – LIBERTARIAN

JILL STEIN / AJAMU BARAKA – GREEN

RICHARD DUNCAN / RICKY JOHNSON

SENATOR

            TED STRICKLAND – D

            ROB PORTMAN – R

            JOSEPH R. DEMARE – GREEN

            TOM CONNORS

            SCOTT RUPERT

BASED ON COUNTY OF RESIDENCE:

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES –

            There are 435 seats in the U.S. House, and they are up for election every 2 years

STATE SENATE –

State senators serve four-year terms

STATE REPRESENTATIVES –

State representatives serve two-year terms

COURTS –

30 seats on Ohio’s state-level courts are on the ballot for November 8. They are made of three seats on the Ohio Supreme Court and 27 seats on the Ohio District Courts of Appeal.

Judges in the District Courts of Appeal are voted on by district.

COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES –

Candidates for each office depend on where you live, and include several different positions including commissioner, prosecuting attorney, sheriff, county recorder, county treasurer, county engineer and coroner. Titles may vary depending on which county you live in. 

View a sample ballot for Cuyahoga County below:

Cuyahoga County Sample Ballot by KimAnderson on Scribd

Don't live in Cuyahoga County? View your personal sample ballot on the Ohio Secretary of State's website

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BALLOT AMENDMENTS & CITIZEN INITIATIVES:

            There are none listed for Ohio 

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HELPFUL SOURCES ON CANDIDATES & ISSUES:

Politifact

News 5 has been working with Politifact through this election season to fact check statements made by public officials. They are a Pulitzer Prize-winning independent organization that seeks to report the truth in politics. 

League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters of Ohio is a non-partisan political organization that helps voters to understand public policy, voting issues and candidates positions. 

Factcheck.org

Factcheck is another website that works to check the accuracy behind what elected officials say in the form of debates, interviews, televison ads and other forms of media. It is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Ohio Secretary of State

The official website for the Ohio Secretary of State has voting guidelines and more information on the process behind legislation and ballot issues as well as general information about the state's proceedings. 

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COMMON VOTING MYTHS

Myth: Absentee ballots don't really count in the election.

All absentee ballots count just like in-person ballots. 

Myth: If I wear a shirt or button supporting a political candidate, I'll be turned away from voting.

You won't. You will still be able to cast your vote, however active campaigning is prohibited near polling locations. 

Myth: I'm a convicted felon, so I can't vote. 

Although it varies by state, in Ohio once a convicted felon has served their time, they are allowed to cast their vote. 

Myth: I can’t register to vote using my school address at college because I will be dropped from my parents’ health insurance coverage.

You will not be dropped from your health insurance. 

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