(WJW) — Polls have officially closed for the Aug. 8 special election as Ohioans decide whether to make it harder to amend the state constitution. Find the results here.

What is Ohio’s Issue 1?

If voters approve Issue 1, future amendments to the Ohio Constitution will need a 60% affirmative vote to pass, rather than the simple majority of 50% plus one vote that’s been in place since 1912, according to The Associated Press.

Also, petitioners seeking to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot in Ohio would need to gather signatures from at least 5% of electors in the most recent gubernatorial election in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, rather than just 44 counties.

Issue 1 also eliminates the state’s “curing period” for constitutional amendment petitions, which gives petitioners an extra 10 days to gather additional signatures, if needed.

Voting “yes” on Issue 1 is a vote to approve the change and raise the signature and vote thresholds needed to propose and approve new amendments to the Ohio Constitution.

Voting “no” on Issue 1 is a vote to deny the change and keep the signature and vote thresholds that are already in place.

Supporters of Issue 1 say the measure would protect the Ohio Constitution from special interest groups.

“By raising the threshold for constitutional amendments to 60%, the people will ensure amendments have widespread support and tell special interests that our constitution is not up for grabs,” reads an argument for the proposal signed by state GOP lawmakers. “By requiring signatures from voters in every county, special interest groups will no longer be able to cherry pick where they gather signatures.”

Meanwhile, opponents of Issue 1 say it would end majority rule in the state.

“It means just 40% of voters can block any issue, putting 40% of voters in charge of decision-making for the majority,” reads an argument against the proposal signed by state Democrats. “It would destroy citizen-driven ballot initiatives as we know them, guaranteeing that only wealthy special interests could advance changes to our constitution.”

Issue 1 would raise the threshold needed for voters to approve an abortion rights amendment that will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot, which would enshrine access to abortion in Ohio in the state constitution following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last summer.

Though the changes to the signature threshold and curing period would only apply to constitutional amendments proposed after Jan. 1, 2024, the new vote threshold requirement would take effect immediately upon passage, impacting the next general election.

Am I registered to vote?

The deadline to register to vote in the August special election was Monday, July 10. That deadline always comes 28 days before Election Day.

You can make sure you’re registered to vote and find your local polling place on the Ohio Secretary of State website.

Ohio’s voter registration rules changed in 2023. If you’re not already registered, you’ll need to provide an Ohio driver’s license, state ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number in order to register using a paper form. Those registering online must still provide all of those identifiers.

How can I vote in person?

The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8, which is Election Day.

If you choose to go to the polls on Election Day, you can find your voting precinct and polling place using the list of county elections board offices below or the Secretary of State website.

Many polling locations changed in several Ohio counties ahead of the Aug. 8 election. The changes affect tens of thousands of voters in Cuyahoga and Summit counties. Learn more here:

What do I need to bring?

To vote in person, you need to bring a form of identification that includes:

  • A valid Ohio driver’s license, state ID or some interim form of ID issued by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
  • A U.S. military ID, National Guard ID or a U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs ID with your name and photo
  • A U.S. passport or passport card, which are now acceptable in 2023

Ohio’s voter ID laws changed in 2023. Voters can no longer use a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, concealed carry permit or some other government document to verify their identity at the polls.

If your ID doesn’t have your current address, that’s OK as long as your voter registration has your current address.

If you don’t have an ID, you can still cast a provisional ballot. You’ll need to provide one of the acceptable forms of ID listed above to your local elections board office by Saturday, Aug. 12, four days after the election. Previously, Ohioans were allowed up to a week after the election to provide that information. Starting this year, voters can no longer give the last four digits of their Social Security number when casting a provisional ballot, unless they do not have a photo ID for religious reasons. Once that information is verified, your provisional ballot will be counted.

Where is my polling place?

Find your local elections office or polling place at the links below to county board of elections offices in Northeast Ohio:

Ashland CountyAshtabula CountyColumbiana County
Cuyahoga CountyErie CountyGeauga County
Huron CountyLake CountyLorain County
Mahoning CountyMedina CountyPortage County
Richland CountyStark CountySummit County
Trumbull CountyTuscarawas CountyWayne County

How can I vote by mail?

To vote by mail — also called absentee voting — you had to request an absentee ballot from your local board of elections office by close of business on Tuesday, Aug. 1. Previously, that deadline was noon on the Saturday before the election.

Absentee ballots returned by mail had to be postmarked by Monday, Aug. 7, the day before Election Day. They must be received by your local elections board office by Saturday, Aug. 12, the fourth day after the election, in order to be counted. Previously, the deadline was 10 days after the election.

You’ll need to provide one of the acceptable forms of ID listed above.

After mailing, you can track your absentee ballot through your local elections board website.

You can also drop off your absentee ballot at your county board of elections office or in its drop box anytime until the polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. You don’t have to wait until Election Day to drop it off.

If you never received your absentee ballot, you should check in with your local board of elections office. You can find yours in the list above.

If you requested an absentee ballot but never mailed it back, you can still vote in person at your polling place on Election Day. But if you voted by mail, you’ll be unable to vote in person.

Still have questions?

Visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website for a list of voter resources and frequently asked questions.