Multiple Ohio voted stickers
Credit: Jeff Haynes / Signal Cleveland

Yes, we just had an election in August. Yes, another is scheduled for November. And yes, once again there are ballot initiatives with profound implications to consider, including a whole new Issue 1.

Register to vote

But first things first: Are you registered to vote? If not, you have two weeks to fix that. The deadline is Oct. 10.

You can register online. The page includes a video that walks you through the process. You can use the same link to update your address if you’ve moved since the last time you voted.

You can also register in person at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, 2925 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you’re not sure about your registration status, you can check on this page.

Do I need ID to register to vote?

No. You can register with the last four digits of your Social Security number.

But a new state law requires a photo ID to vote in person, either early (starting Oct. 11 at the BOE) or on Election Day. These are the acceptable options:

An unexpired Ohio driver’s license* or state-issued ID card**

Interim ID form issued by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

U.S. passport or passport card

U.S. military ID card

Ohio National Guard ID card

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID card

*A suspended driver’s license is acceptable as long as it’s not expired. A driver’s license or state ID with the voter’s previous address is also acceptable.

**Ohio identification cards are free from Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ deputy registrar license agencies (locations). This interactive page can help you determine which personal documents you will need to bring to prove your identity.

You don’t need ID to vote by mail, and if you’re already registered, you can request or download a vote-by-mail application now.

What’s at stake?

Issue 1:

Not to be confused with the Issue 1 from August, which would have made it harder to change the state constitution, November’s Issue 1 is called the Right to Make Reproductive Decisions Including Abortion Initiative. If passed, it would amend the state constitution to establish “a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” including fertility treatment, continuing a pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion.

Issue 2:

This is the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, which would change state law to “authorize and regulate the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, home grow, and use” of cannabis by people who are 21 and older. Issue 2 would not amend the state constitution.

(Ballot initiatives empower Ohio residents to bypass the state legislature to amend the constitution or change the law. The Ohio Secretary of State’s web site explains how.)

Issue 38: 

This is for Cleveland voters only. It would amend the city charter to begin participatory budgeting, or PB. If passed, Issue 38 would require the city to follow a process through which citizens could propose and vote on ways to spend 2% (about $14 million) of the city’s annual budget.

Cleveland voters will also have a chance to vote for Municipal Court judges. Cuyahoga County voters will be asked to support Cuyahoga Community College’s latest levy. Signal will have more information about both in the next few weeks.

For more information

If you have any questions about voting in Cuyahoga County, contact the Board of Elections at (216) 443-8683 (VOTE).

Director of the Editors’ Bureau (he/him)
Frank is an award-winning reporter and former editor at alternative newsweeklies in Cleveland and Philadelphia. He has worked with writers of all experience levels on beat reporting, features, investigative projects and books.