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Protect Your Vote: What You Need to Know to Vote in Ohio
As Jon Husted attempts to argue before Ohio’s courts that restrictions on early voting somehow serves the public interest, it’s time for voters in Ohio to do what they can to protect their right to vote. Ohio has a voter ID law, which Jon Husted believes isn’t strict enough.
If you are part of the sane America who believes in our constitution, including the right to vote, you may want to vote in this election and be sure that it counts.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice 11% of eligible voters do not have government issued ID’s. The elderly, racial minorities, people with disabilities and the working poor are disproportionately affected by the ALEC sponsored new ID requirements that have become law in many states. The reason these are ID laws can suppress the vote is noted by Brennan Center for Justice:
Many citizens find it hard to get government photo IDs, because the underlying documentation like birth certificates (the ID one needs to get ID) is often difficult or expensive to come by. At the same time, voter ID policies are far more costly to implement than many assume.
Under the current law, which Husted doesn’t think is strict enough, eligible voters must present ID that proves residency. So you must be sure that you have the legally mandate ID with you when you go to the polls. (See list of accepted ID below.)
It is also important to confirm that you are registered and that the information is current. You can do that at the Secretary of State’s website, here.
In order to check your registration information, you will need to provide:
You also need to make sure you have a valid ID that includes your current address.
If you are not registered, you will need to get it done now. The deadline for registering to vote in Ohio is 30 days prior to the election.
You can download a voter registration form here.
You can also register on-line at the Secretary of State’s website here.
Finally, you can register in person. According to the site, votesmart.org, you can register in person at the following locations:
-Any county board of elections;
-The Ohio Secretary of State’s office;
-BMV or Deputy Registrars;
-Any county treasurer’s office
-Any public high school or vocational school;
-Any public library;
-Office of designated agencies, including:
-The Department of Job and Family Services;
-The Department of Health (including the Women, Infants and Children(WIC) program);
-The Department of Mental Health;
-The Department of Developmental Disabilities;
-The Rehabilitation Services Commission; or
-Any state-assisted college or university that provides assistance to disabled students;.
According to the Secretary of State’s website:
“Ohio law requires that every voter, upon appearing at the polling place to vote on Election Day, to announce his or her full name and current address and provide proof of the voter’s identity.”
The acceptable forms of ID in Ohio are:
Original or copy of one of the following:
A current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or a current government check;
A current other government document, other than a voter registration acknowledgement notification mailed by the board of elections, that shows the voter’s name and current address.
A current and valid photo ID issued by Government of Ohio or the Federal Government or a Military ID.
Voters who present an Ohio driver’s license with a previous address will be allowed to vote provided that their current address is on the voter rolls.
Despite Jon Husted’s dogged determination to restrict early and absentee voting, an Ohio Court ordered him to make early voting more accessible than it was under his directive. Husted has complied with the order, while simultaneously appealing for a return to his restrictions on early and absentee voting .
At least for now, early voting which starts on October 2nd, will occur during the dates and hours as set out below.
“Vote in Person before Nov. 6: County election offices statewide will be open during weekday hours set by Husted as follows:
• 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 2-Oct. 5, Oct. 10-Oct. 12 and Oct. 15-Oct. 19.
• 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Oct. 9 (the deadline to register to vote).
• 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 22-Oct. 26 and Oct. 29-Nov. 1.
• 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 2.
Husted was ordered by the court to allow early polls to open on the Saturday, Sunday and Money before Election Day.
Last, but not least, make sure you know your voting place. You can find that information at the Secretary of State’s website, here.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of making sure that you are registered and that your information is accurate. If anyone challenges your vote, ask for their ID, and most of all, document the encounter with your cell phone video and audio (provided that it’s legal to do so in your state.)
Help a couple of friends (or more) get registered and confirm that their info is correct.
It’s you’re vote! Don’t let anyone take it away from you!
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