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Your guide to voting in Ohio's Aug. 8 special election on Issue 1

John Minchillo

An Ohio special election on Aug. 8 has just one item on the ballot: a constitutional amendment that would make it harder to pass future amendments.

Supporters of the measure say if Issue 1 passes, it will help prevent out-of-state special interests from funding campaigns to change Ohio's constitution.

Opponents say it's a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for a proposed reproductive rights measure to win passage in November.

RELATED: LaRose says Issue 1 is '100%' about stopping possible abortion amendment

Here's what you need to know about casting your vote:

How and when to register to vote

The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 8 special election was Monday, July 10 at 11:59 p.m. The deadline is the same if you are already registered to vote in Ohio but have moved to a new address.

You can check to see if you are registered to vote by clicking on the following link of the county where you live:

If you are not registered, you can sign up here through the Ohio Secretary of State's website. Though you will not be able to vote in this election, you'll be ahead of the game for the Nov. 7 general election. The deadline to register to vote in that election is Oct. 10.

How do I vote early in person?

Early voting started Tuesday, July 11 and ends Sunday, Aug. 6, in each county's board of elections office:

  • Butler: 1802 Princeton Rd Ste 600, Hamilton OH 45011
  • Clermont: 76 S Riverside Dr Batavia OH 45103
  • Hamilton: 4700 Smith Road, Cincinnati OH 45212
  • Warren: 520 Justice Dr Lebanon OH 45036

Click here to find each Ohio county's BOE office.

Early voting times are established by the Ohio Secretary of State:

July 11 to July 28: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

How do I vote in-person on Election Day?

Your polling place for the Aug. 8 special election may be different from your usual polling place.

To find your polling place, click the link for the county you live in below:

RELATED: LaRose 'wouldn't be surprised' at single-digit turnout Aug. 8

What's changed?

Ohio voters need to familiarize themselves with the changes in House Bill 458, which Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law in January — especially if they plan to vote in the November general election.

Here's what's different:

  • Voters will have to use an unexpired photo ID to vote, such as an Ohio driver's license, Ohio-issued state ID card (which will be provided at no cost at Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices), a state or federal military photo ID, or a passport. Bank statements or utility bills will no longer suffice as proof of identity.
  • Drop boxes for absentee ballots will be limited to one location per county and may only be used during business hours during early voting.
  • Absentee ballots must be requested a full week before Election Day.
  • No more Monday-before-Election-Day as an early in-person voting day at boards of elections.
  • Mailed-in absentee ballots must be received by boards of elections four days after the election, instead of the previous 10 days. This is an especially important change for military and overseas voters.  

RELATED: Why you need to get familiar with Ohio's new voter ID law now

How do I vote absentee?

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 8:30 p.m.

You can request an absentee ballot by filling out a form provided by the Ohio Secretary of State or your county board of elections.

Drop boxes for absentee ballots will be limited to one location per county and may only be used during business hours during early voting.

If you are mailing your ballot, it must be received by boards of elections no later than four days after the election, instead of the previous 10 days.

Those voting absentee don't have to provide photo ID, but must provide the last four digits of their Social Security Number when submitting their ballots. Members of certain religious communities can also provide that information in lieu of a driver's license if they sign an affidavit stating their religious beliefs prohibit them from appearing in photographs.

What's on the ballot?

If passed, Issue 1 would require the approval of 60% of Ohio voters to amend the state's constitution instead of the simple majority that's required now.

LISTEN: Here's what a supporter and opponent of Issue 1 have to say

A "yes" vote also would require initiative petitions proposing a constitutional amendment to be signed by at least 5% of the electors in each of Ohio's 88 counties. And it would remove the 10-day period for petitioners to gather more signatures for a constitutional amendment if it's determined that they didn't file enough valid signatures.

A "no" vote would uphold the status quo, which requires a simple majority from voters to approve a constitutional amendment. It also would keep current rules regarding initiative petitions that require signatures from 44 counties instead of 88. And it would keep the 10-day "cure" period if it's determined the petitioners didn't file enough valid signatures.

Read the full ballot language below:

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.