What you need to know to vote this year


Shape the news with your voice!

Want to express your thoughts about the upcoming election and issues that are important to you? The Your Voice Ohio project and the Sidney Daily News are partnering to sponsor a series of online conversations so that you can contribute to presidential election coverage in Ohio. Volunteer to contribute to this effort by going to this web site – www.yourvoiceohio.org/election2020. Participants will be selected from the list of volunteers to represent Ohio demographics and will receive a $125 stipend for participation in a session.

How to register to vote: It’s too late. The deadline was Oct. 5.

Should I check my voter registration?: Yes. You can do so here: https://voterlookup.ohiosos.gov/voterlookup.aspx

How to request an absentee ballot: If you choose not to vote at a public polling location on Election Day, you can request a ballot in advance – called absentee voting. The Ohio Secretary of State will mail applications to every registered voter, which can be completed and returned, or voters can print the form from the Secretary of State website: https://www.ohiosos.gov/publications/#abr. Additionally, some Ohio newspapers have printed the form in the daily paper so voters can cut it out, complete it and mail it in.

When to request an absentee ballot: You can request an absentee now for the general election. The window to request is open until THREE days before the election but in practicality three days leaves little time for the postal service to get the ballot to you and for you to return it.

When and how to return an absentee ballot: Your completed ballot must be postmarked – at the latest — the day before the election. Placing the ballot in a mailbox does not guarantee that it will be post marked. Deliver it personally to a post office and request that it be marked. It’s your responsibility to make sure it has enough postage. Alternatively, you can drop it off in person at your county board of elections during business hours and before the polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. You don’t have to wait until Election Day to deliver.

Can I track my absentee ballot?: Yes. Check out the voter toolkit here: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/toolkit/

How, where and when to vote early in-person: Early in-person voting centers, set up by the county board of elections, open Oct. 6, or 28 days before Election Day. You’ll need identification, such as a driver’s license, bank statement, utility bill, pay stub, military or state ID to vote. And depending on public health orders, you may need a face mask.

How to be a poll worker: Ohio relies on 35,000 registered voters to work the polls on Election Day. Because many poll workers are of retirement age, they face increased health risks due to COVID-19. There is high interest in expanding the hiring pool to include younger people. Poll workers receive training. Pay varies by county. You can sign up here: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/precinct-election-officials/peosignup/

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Shape the news with your voice!

Want to express your thoughts about the upcoming election and issues that are important to you? The Your Voice Ohio project and the Sidney Daily News are partnering to sponsor a series of online conversations so that you can contribute to presidential election coverage in Ohio. Volunteer to contribute to this effort by going to this web site – www.yourvoiceohio.org/election2020. Participants will be selected from the list of volunteers to represent Ohio demographics and will receive a $125 stipend for participation in a session.