Early voting underway for Ohio's Nov. 7 vote on abortion rights amendment, legal marijuana law
Ohio’s month of early voting is underway before the Nov. 7 election. Voters will decide on Issue 1, an amendment guaranteeing abortion and reproductive rights, and Issue 2, a law legalizing recreational marijuana.
Few lines were reported for the first day of early voting. There were lines for the start of early voting in the August special election, which featured just one issue - the amendment that would raise the voter approval threshold for future amendments, including the abortion and reproductive rights amendment this fall. It failed with 57% of the vote.
It's the third election since Ohio's law requiring voters show photo ID took effect in April. Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose advocated for that law.
"It doesn't change anything because 98% of Ohioans historically would bring their state ID or driver's license as their proof of ID when they come to vote," LaRose said. "In the past, a small percentage - 2% - would bring those alternative forms of ID, which used to be something like a utility bill or a pay stub, that kind of thing. Those are no longer allowed."
Options for early voters and those who cast ballots on election day are:
- Ohio driver's license
- State of Ohio ID card
- Interim ID form issued by Ohio BMV
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Passport card
- Military ID card
- Ohio National Guard ID card
- U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs ID card
With no statewide candidates leading the vote this fall, Issues 1 and 2 are getting all the attention. LaRose said he’s proud of high voter turnout in the last few years.
“We were proud to see, just as I predicted, strong turnout in August as well for the special election that occurred. We think this will be no different," LaRose said.
The week before early voting started for the August special election, LaRose actually said he “wouldn’t be surprised” at single digit turnout. More than 38% of registered voters cast ballots in August.
LaRose also said it’s appropriate for him to be outspoken against Issue 1 as an elected Republican, and that his predecessors have taken partisan positions as well.
LaRose has spoken at events against Issue 1. His office also wrote the summary language that voters will see on the ballot that was approved by Republicans on the Ohio Ballot Board. Issue 1 supporters sued over that wording, claiming it was inaccurate and biased.
In its ruling, the Republican-dominated Ohio Supreme Court ordered the Ballot Board to change the phrase "the citizens of the state of Ohio" to "the state of Ohio". But it did not grant the request to change "unborn child" to "fetus", which is the term that's used in the amendment.
Download and read the full text of the Issue 1 amendment and the Issue 2 statute here.