Ohio voter guide: Registering to vote, voting by mail and poll workers needed

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– We’re less than two months away from the next presidential election. While you consider the candidates and issues, here’s how to make sure your voice is heard on Nov. 3.

First off, there is an urgent need for poll workers. Since poll workers tend to be older residents, many are not participating this Election Day because of the coronavirus pandemic. Without enough poll workers, some boards of elections will have to consolidate voting locations, resulting in longer lines.

Cuyahoga County is urging companies to allow employees to take the day off in order to work at polling places and the state of Ohio is encouraging high school students to sign up. In Cuyahoga County, you can make up to $275 for working as a precinct election official.

Important dates:

  • Register to vote or update your registration: Oct. 5
  • Early in-person voting: Oct. 6 to Nov. 2
  • Request a vote-by-mail/absentee ballot: Received by noon on Oct. 31
  • Mail your ballot: Postmarked on or before Nov. 2
  • Election Day: Nov. 3

Register:

To register to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen, you must be at least 18 years old on the day of the general election and you must be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days.

You can register or update your voter registration on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website. You’ll need an Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card number, name, date of birthday, address, and last four digits of your Social Security number.

Cuyahoga County residents can also print a voter registration form or call the board of elections at 216-443-VOTE to request a form.

Vote by mail:

All Ohio voters whose registration information is up to date can vote by mail.

Complete a vote-by-mail ballot application through your county’s board of elections, mail the application back, wait for your ballot in the mail and return the ballot.

Applications to vote by mail must be received by noon on the Saturday before Election Day. Ballots must be returned to the board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election if delivered in person or postmarked by the day before Election Day and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after the election.

Voting in-person:

You’ll need to bring a valid form of identification, such as a valid Ohio driver’s license, military ID or current utility bill. Passports and Social Security cards are not acceptable.

Early in-person voting begins Oct. 6 and runs through Nov. 2 at boards of elections. Hours vary by day. On Nov. 3, polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay there because you can still vote. If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask a poll worker for a new one. If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot.

To request a vote-by-mail application and check in-person voting hours, visit your local board of elections’ website:

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