COLUMBUS, Ohio — The voter registration deadline for Ohio's second primary is Tuesday, while early voting starts Wednesday.
The redistricting mess splitting the 2022 primary into two different dates has caused voters to not fully understand the upcoming August election, according to Dante Lewis, deputy director of the Lake County Board of Elections.
Lake County had a lower voter turnout than normal for the May 3 primary, and that probably won't change for the Aug. 2 one.
"We're anticipating a lower turnout than the May election," Lewis said.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the Ohio Redistricting Commission's legislative maps were unconstitutional and gerrymandered — and having to keep redrawing new maps, despite never being ruled constitutional, caused the election for some candidates to be delayed.
"The average voter would not be following that redistricting process, so primaries tend to be confusing anyway in Ohio," he added.
If you weren't registered to vote for the first primary, you have the opportunity to register for this one.
The deadline to register is July 5, and early voting starts the next day. There are plenty of options to register: go online, to the BMV, public library, board of elections or even just drop off the form.
"You could come any time of day or night, even over the holiday weekend, and submit your voter registration or an absentee request form into that drop box," Lewis added.
You will declare your party affiliation once you get to the polls. Depending on where you live, your ballot will have different options.
Overall, you will choose your state senator, representative and members for the central committee.
Some precincts will see issues on their ballot, like an area of downtown Cleveland, which will vote on if wine and mixed drinks could be sold on Sundays in a grocery store.
"You need to get out, make your voice heard," he said. "Whatever office it may be, they are going to be your representatives — that's why it's very important to come out and vote and make that decision of who's going to be representing you."
If you mail in your registration, it must be postmarked by the fifth.
"I know at times you hear a lot in the community and that information could get twisted," Lewis added. "It's very important that you go directly to the source and that would be us."
Links to resources for voters:
- Main elections page
- Register to vote
- The early voting schedule
- How to vote on Election Day
- Find your district
Follow statehouse reporter Morgan Trau on Twitter and Facebook.