Ohio’s General Election Day is quickly approaching on Tuesday, November 8, and every vote counts.
Unfortunately, according to the Ohio Secretary of State, voter turnout in the last midterm election was only 56 percent, yet 74 percent of registered voters turned out for the last presidential election.
Regardless of your political views, this midterm election matters!
The Ohio Supreme Court: Kennedy, DeWine, & Fischer
For independent agents this year, the election takes on increased importance because Ohio voters will not just be selecting two Ohio Supreme Court Justices, but also the highest position of the court, chief justice.
In recent years, the Ohio Supreme Court has been relatively balanced in its decision-making, however the court is no stranger to judicial activism. Not so long ago, the court was dominated by a pro-plaintiff majority with a penchant for creating new public policy from the bench rather than interpreting existing law. While not the only one, there is perhaps no better example of the Court’s activism that affected the insurance industry than the infamous 1999 decision in the Scott-Pontzer case.
OIA has vetted the candidates for these seats and has supported through the Ohio Insurance Agents Political Action Committee (OIAPAC) the re-election of Justices Pat DeWine and Pat Fischer and the election of Justice Sharon Kennedy for chief justice. These candidates interpret the law as written and do not insert their own opinion and interpretation into statutory language or through contracts, insurance policies, and other legal documents.
Other Statewide Races
In addition to the races for the court, all statewide offices are on the ballot, including governor/ lieutenant governor. This too is a critical race for IA’s as the governor appoints the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance.
The statewide races also matter for another reason that is center stage to a lot of media attention this year, and that is redistricting.
The governor, secretary of state, and auditor sit on the redistricting commission that draws the Statehouse districts and also the Congressional districts. After many maps were struck down as unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, the issue will be at the forefront next year and the candidates of these races will play a key role in developing new maps that will impact Ohio elections for the next several years.
116 Ohio House and Senate Seats up for Election
The entire Ohio House of Representatives and half of the Ohio Senate are up for election on Nov. 8. That’s 116 seats!
Presumably, this means control of the Ohio general Assembly is at stake. However, with the Republicans’ sizable majority and financial advantage, things will likely remain the same.
As a result of redistricting this year, there are several legislative races here that remain “in play” as several districts now lean more or less to one party than they did last election cycle. This will truly be an election that depends on turnout and which side has the most enthusiasm and ability to mobilize their supporters to the polls.
What’s on your ballot?
Not only will your ballot include all of the offices mentioned above, but it will also include U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, two statewide constitutional amendments, five of the eleven elected seats on the Ohio Board of Education, as well as other local races and issues.
To view all of the candidates and issues you will be voting on this election, you can look up a sample of your ballot here.
Don’t Miss Out: Voting Information You Need To Know
We want to make sure you have all the key dates and deadlines you need, especially if you plan to vote by mail.
Voting by Mail
By now, all registered Ohio voters should have automatically received an absentee ballot application in the mail from the Ohio Secretary of State. If you did not receive one or if you lost it, you can find the options available to request one here. While the deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days before the election, it is strongly encouraged that you do so right away.
The later you apply, the later you will receive your ballot. To track the status of your mail-in ballot, click here. Mailed ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 7 and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after Election Day. If you do not want to mail your ballot, you can drop it off at your local county board of elections any time before the polls close at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8. Each board will have a secure drop box for ballots. To find your local county board of elections, click here.
Early In-Person Voting
Early voting begins Wednesday, Oct. 12, and includes the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day at your local county board of elections.
To find your county board of elections, click here.
Election Day Voting – November 8th
Polls will be open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 8th.
Click here to find your polling location.
Don’t Forget Required Identification for In-Person Voting
Don’t forget to bring ID to vote. Acceptable forms of ID include: an unexpired driver’s license or state ID card or mail such as a utility bill, paycheck, government check or bank statement showing your current address. A full list of acceptable forms of ID can be found here.
Do Your Homework
The elections taking place at the ballot on Nov. 8 are extremely important and every vote matters. We encourage you to do your homework and research the issues and candidates that you will be voting on – and get out and vote!