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Cleveland Politics, Elections, Uncategorized

ACLU of Ohio and the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections offer registration and voting guidance

(Plain Press, September 2016)   The upcoming November election promises to have a whole array of local and national issues and candidates for voters to weigh in on. Those wishing to vote who have questions about registration or voting can find answers at both the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio offers a guide to voting on its website at: acluohio.org.  It outlines:1. Registration 2. Identification and 3. Deciding where and when to vote.

Under registration it notes you must be registered to vote at least thirty days prior to the election in order to vote. To vote in this year’s November election, the last day to register to vote is October 11, 2016. The ACLU urges voters to also make sure to update their voting address and make sure their registration is correct 30 days prior to the election.

To check to see if your registration is up to date, you can go to the Cuyahoga County Board of Election’s website at boe.cuyahogacounty.org. They have a link to the Ohio Secretary of State’s website where you can automatically update your voting record if it needs it.

If you are not registered to vote, you can download and print a registration form and mail it to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.  Registration forms are also available at area public high schools, Ohio License Bureau offices, the May Dugan Center, the Spanish American Committee, Cleveland City Hall – Room 121 and the downtown Cleveland Public Library Stokes Wing.

The ACLU of Ohio also reminds voters they must have one of the following items to use as identification when voting: a photo ID card with your name and address, like a driver’s license or state ID:; other government ID, like a passport (student IDs are not acceptable); US military ID Card with you name and photo (address not required); or identification that shows your name and present address which could include a current (within last 12 months) cell phone bill, bank statement, pay check, government check, or other government document, such as a Social Security or Ohio Job and Family Services benefit letter.

When deciding when and where to vote, the ACLU of Ohio reminds voters of the three options available. You can submit an absentee ballot request form to your local board of elections. Absentee ballots are available 35 days prior to the election. In preparing to vote you can check out a sample ballot at the Board of Elections website at: boe.cuyahogacounty.org. Completed ballots must be either delivered to the Board of Elections by close of polls on Election Day or postmarked by midnight on election day. Ohio voters who are in the military or overseas can begin mail in voting 45 days prior to the election and their completed ballots must arrive at the Board of Elections no later than 10 days after Election Day.

The second option available to Ohioans is early in person voting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, 2925 Euclid Avenue, beginning on October 12th, the day after the close of voter registration. For early voting hours visit: acluohio.org.

The third option is to vote in person on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8th, 2016. Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. You should receive a card in the mail telling you your polling place and your precinct. If you have lost that, you can go to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website at boe.cuyahogacounty.org to check on your polling place. You can also print out a sample ballot from their website once you have your ward and precinct.

Christine Link, Executive Director of ACLU of Ohio reminds Ohio voters that a past felony conviction does not prevent you from participating in November’s presidential election. She says that “even persons who are under community control, like probation or parole, can vote, as long as they register by October 11.” Link notes that “anyone who has been living in Ohio for at least 30 days, meets all other voter eligibility requirements and is not currently incarcerated on a felony conviction can vote.”

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