Credit: Jeff Haynes / Signal Cleveland

Between today and Aug. 8, Ohioans have the opportunity to vote in a special election on a ballot initiative with far-reaching implications for the November election and beyond. Issue 1, as the initiative is known, would make it more difficult for citizens to amend the state constitution. You can read more about it in Signal’s Issue 1 explainer.

Voting by mail

To request a mail-in ballot, follow the instructions on this page or call 216-443-8683. The deadline to submit a vote-by-mail application is Aug. 1.

• How much postage should I use?

One “forever” stamp will cover it.

• Can I drop off my mail-in ballot instead?

Yes, there is a secure drop box in the parking lot behind the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections building at 2925 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.

• After requesting a mail-in ballot, can I change my mind and vote in person?

Yes. You will be asked to vote by provisional ballot, meaning your vote will be verified and counted after election day. This is to ensure that no one can vote twice. (There is more information about provisional ballots later in this article.)

• Is voting by mail safe?

In a word, yes. You can read about the myths and facts on the BOE’s web site.

Voting in person

When voting in person, either early or on election day, you must present a photo ID. These are the acceptable 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

*You can obtain an Ohio identification card for free from a Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ deputy registrar license agency (locations). This interactive page can help you determine which personal documents you will need to bring to prove your identity.

• When and where can I vote early?

You can vote before election day at the Board of Elections, 2925 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, during these hours:

Weekdays through July 28: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

July 31: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 1: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Aug. 2-4: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 5: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Aug. 6: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• How do I find my election day polling location?

You can enter your last name and date of birth here, or call 216-443-8683.

• What if there is some confusion about my registration on election day?

If you believe you’re registered to vote and at the right location but are told that your name isn’t on the list, you can ask to vote by provisional ballot. From the Ohio Secretary of State’s office:

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 his or her 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.

More information here.

If you have been convicted of a crime, you still have the right to vote.

From the ACLU of Ohio:

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, you have the right to vote, even if you are incarcerated.

If you have been arrested for a felony but have not been convicted, you still have the right to vote.

The only time you may not vote is if you are currently incarcerated on a felony conviction. Once you are out of prison or jail, you must re-register to vote, even if you were previously registered.*

If you are on parole or probation, live in a halfway house, or are on house arrest, you have the right to vote.

*It’s too late to register to vote in August, but there will be another election in November.

Voters with disabilities

From the Ohio Secretary of State’s web site: “All eligible Ohioans can make their voices heard privately, independently, and with confidence through online voter registration, accessible in-person voting, or absentee voting.”

Details and resources can be found here.

Be on the lookout for election fraud

In the weeks before the 2020 election, two rightwing political activists placed thousands of robocalls to people on Cleveland’s East Side and in East Cleveland. The pre-recorded message claimed that mail-in ballots — which were popular that year because of the pandemic — would be used by police and credit card companies to track people down. “Don’t be finessed into giving your private information to the man,” the voice said.

County prosecutors said all of that message was false and that the men behind the calls wanted to scare people in heavily Democratic areas from voting.

Be wary of calls, texts, flyers, signs or social media posts making claims about changes to voting rules, locations, dates or times. You can verify any such claims by calling the Board of Elections at 216-443-8683.

You can also let Signal Cleveland know, so we can inform other voters, by sending a tip through this link (anonymously if you prefer); by sending an email to; or by contacting us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

You can also contact us if you have an election-related question that we haven’t answered.

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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.