COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohioans can start heading to the polls and postmarking their ballots for the primary election in May.

Early voting kicks off Tuesday for the May 2 primary election, giving Ohioans living in counties with issues and candidates on the ballot a head start to vote in person at their local board of elections or through the mail. Of the state’s 88 counties, only 67 have early voting, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said.

“For those who do, it’s a really important election,” LaRose said in an interview with NBC4. “It’s going to determine who your party’s standard-bearer is going forward to the November ballot. This had a huge impact on who’s going to run the schools your children are educated in, deliver justice, keep your community safe, govern your local community. So it’s really important you make your voice heard.”

In order to vote, Ohioans must now show photo ID at the polls, as opposed to earlier rules permitting them to show non-photo ID, like utility bills. The enactment of House Bill 458, an omnibus election-related bill signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in January, also requires voters to request an absentee ballot seven days before Election Day instead of three.

Additionally, the six hours of early in-person voting typically allotted during the Monday before Election Day no longer exist. Instead, they’re reallocated across the preceding week.

For voters in Franklin County, the May primary ballot is poised to be a short one. Only two communities, the cities of Gahanna and Hilliard, will have candidates on the ballot. Voters in the Madison-Plains Local School District will decide a school bond issue, according to the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Voters in 10 Franklin County precincts — Blendon-D, Columbus 13-A, Columbus 21-D, Columbus 29-C, Dublin 2-B, Grove City 1-A, Grove City 5-A, Hilliard 4-A, New Albany-E and Westerville 1-D — will see local options on the ballot.

Ohio polls are open for early voting until Saturday, April 30, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, and will accept voters during the following times:

  • Tuesday, April 4 to Friday, April 7: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday April 10 to Friday, April 14: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, April 17 to Friday, April 21: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, April 24: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 25: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 26 to Friday, April 28: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 29: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 30: 1 to 5 p.m.

On Election Day –Tuesday, May 2 — the polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Ohioans in need of photo identification can apply for a free state ID card by making a trip to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Drivers’ licenses and state IDs can be renewed online.

LaRose said military and overseas voters can request a ballot that gets mailed directly to them. Afterward, they must print the ballot, fill it out and mail it back to their county’s board of elections.

“Remind your loved ones that just because they’re overseas doesn’t mean they have to miss out on this election,” LaRose said.

For more information about the May primary election, visit the Secretary of State’s website.