We’re rapidly approaching next week’s Election Day, and it’s sure to be hectic.  Polls will be packed as voters cast ballots in what is indisputably a critical election.  I know it’s cliché to pronounce an election particularly crucial, but this one is especially important. 

 

Consider:

–    The two candidates for President have vastly different visions and plans for implementing them.  On most issues that are important to Ohio Latinos, the candidates differ sharply.

–    Ohio will likely decide the presidential race, making Ohio voters this election’s most influential
–    Ohio’s Senate race is very important in deciding which party will control the U.S. Senate
–    New district maps at both the state and federal levels means many Ohio voters will be acquainting themselves with new representatives in congress and the Ohio General Assembly
–    Issue 2 is of monstrous importance in deciding how Ohio handles redistricting – a process that’s fundamental to our electoral system

Many Ohio voters will be skipping hectic polling places on Tuesday, and will opt instead for voting by mail through absentee ballots.  You can still request an absentee ballot by mail, but your application must be received by your county board of elections by this Saturday, 11/3 at noon.  Your returned ballot must be received by your county board of elections by the time the polls close on Tuesday, or must be postmarked no later than Monday, November 5.  You can download an application for an absentee ballot here.  That link also has a link to an FAQ on voting by mail, as well as instructions for filling out the application form.  If you plan to vote by mail, act today!

Alternatively, millions of Ohio voters will vote early by casting an absentee ballot in person.  In this instance, voters can simply walk into their county board of elections and cast their ballot in person in advance of Election Day.  In most counties, early voting is taking place at the county board of elections office.  In Franklin, Delaware and Lucas counties, however, early in-person voting is taking place elsewhere.  In any case, you should contact your board of elections to determine where they’re holding early in-person voting hours.  You can find a complete list of Ohio boards of elections and their contact information hereAll boards of elections will be open for early voting according to the following hours:

-Tuesday, October 30 – Thursday, November 1: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
-Friday, November 2: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
-Saturday, November 3: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
-Sunday, November 4: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
-Monday, November 5: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

In any case, you can find a wealth of voter resources at Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s site here.  Resources include FAQs and instructions for voting by mail and early, district maps, and guides to candidates and state issues.  You can also contact your county boards of elections to obtain a sample ballot and confirm your polling place in advance of the election.  Sample ballots will show you your particular ballot, and will let you know exactly which issues and candidates you’ll be voting on.  In many cases, these sample ballots are available online through your county board of elections.  Again, you can find a complete list of county board of election contact information here.

Please distribute this to your networks.  Ohio voters are of the utmost importance, and there’s no basis this year for the old argument “my vote doesn’t matter”.  It affirmative does matter – Ohio will decide this election and Hispanics are positioned to decide Ohio.  How they vote and in what numbers will go along way toward deciding things on Tuesday.  If you or someone in your community needs any help at all in voting – whether educational or logistical, please contact me.

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