Signs and flags at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on East 30th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland.
Signs and flags at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections on East 30th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland. Credit: Nick Castele / Signal Cleveland

Early voting is under way, and voter turnout is expected to be heavier than normal for a non-presidential election.  Voters will decide two major issues–should the right to abortion be added to the state’s constitution and should adults be allowed to use recreational marijuana.  

Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016.

Along with the two statewide issues, Cleveland area voters will decide on one countywide issue, eight school measures, two library levies and 76 municipal races in the Nov. 7 election.  Voters need to have all their information in order and be prepared for busy polling places.

Just over 50,000 Cuyahoga County electors have already decided to skip their polling place and requested vote-by-mail ballots–that translates to 6% of all registered voters in the county, according to the Board of Elections website. But almost 1,400 applications are invalid, the board said. There are more than a dozen reasons why vote-by-mail applications are rejected. For example, in this batch, 238 have an incorrect birthday date.

A Cuyahoga County Board of Elections spokesperson said voters often fill-in the day’s date instead of their birth date. This is one of the reasons applicants are asked to include their email and phone number, so the board can try to make corrections. Most information can be updated by phone or email with the exception of an incorrect or missing signature, the spokesperson said.

To help Clevelanders get ready to exercise their civic rights, Signal Cleveland got answers to common questions about casting your vote.

Can I vote in-person before election day?

Yes, beginning Oct. 11 at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, 2925 Euclid Ave., Cleveland (Google Maps directions). You can vote there in person on weekdays and on the weekend before election day at the hours listed here.

Can I vote by mail?

Yes, just follow the instructions on this page. The deadline to submit a vote-by-mail application is Oct. 31.

Will I need a photo ID to vote in person?

Yes. These are the options:

• Ohio driver’s license

• State of Ohio ID card

• Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV

• U.S. passport

• U.S. passport card

• U.S. military ID card

• Ohio National Guard ID card

• U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID card

How do I find my election day polling location?

Enter your last name and date of birth here.

Where can I get more information?

If you have a question that is not addressed here, call the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at 216-443-8683 (VOTE) or visit the web site.

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Editor (she/her)
Helen, a longtime journalist at News 5 in Cleveland and ABC News, brings knowledge of television news and community reporting to the Signal Cleveland newsroom. An alum of the University of Michigan’s Knight-Wallace Fellowship, Helen has been thinking for years about innovative ways to center news on community interests.