COLUMBUS (WCMH) — On Tuesday, November 2, Ohioans will have the opportunity to vote in the 2021 General Election. While the big race for president isn’t on the ballot, voters will elect candidates closer to home, which many argue has more of an impact on residents’ day-to-day lives.

The big-ticket races in the state this November are U.S. Congressional seats in Ohio’s 11th and 15th districts.

In the 15th District, which covers portions of downtown and western Columbus, Hilliard, Grove City, Upper Arlington, Wilmington, London, Grandview Heights, and Plain City, voters will pick between Republican Mike Carey and Democrat Allison Russo to fill former Rep. Steve Stivers’ seat.

Ohio’s 11th Congressional district, which covers parts of the state’s northeast, will see Democrat Shonetl Brown face Republican Laverne Gore to replace current HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.

Voters will also decide on a number of local non-partisan issues, levies, and bonds.

Election Day 2021

Polls in Ohio are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 2, 2021. The deadline to register was October 4. However, voters who believe they are registered but do not appear on the voter rolls can vote via provisional ballots at their local polling places.

In-person Absentee Voting

In-person early voting started October 5. Voters are able to request and vote an absentee ballot at their county board of elections or designated early voting center.

Ballots can be cast in person at the following dates and times:

  • October 5-8: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • October 12-15: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • October 18-22: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • October 25-29: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • October 30: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • October 31: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • November 1: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Absentee voting by mail

Absentee ballots can be requested by filling out a request form, signing it, and returning it to your county board of elections by noon Saturday, October 30, for the November 2 election. If mailed, completed ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election, in this case, November 1, in order to be counted. Completed absentee ballots can also be dropped off at the county board of election before polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

The Secretary of State offers the following steps to request and vote an absentee ballot:

  1. Complete the absentee ballot request form*.
  2. Once you have completed your application by providing all of the required information print and sign it.
  3. Mail the request form back to your own county board of elections.
  4. Wait to receive your ballot in the mail from your county board of elections. If you have questions about your absentee ballot request, you should call your county board of elections or you can track the status of your ballot request as well as your voted absentee ballot through the Voter Toolkit.
  5. Return your voted ballot. You can send it by U.S. Mail or deliver it in person to your county board of elections, but the return envelope containing your marked ballot must either be received by your county board of elections prior to the close of the polls on Election Day, or postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after the election.

If you request an absentee ballot, but choose to instead vote on election day, you must vote a provisional ballot.

Due to delays with the United States Postal Service, the state recommends all absentee ballot request forms be returned by October 26.

Resources

There are many resources on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, that will make your trip to the polls easier:

  • CLICK HERE for your sample ballot, once finalized
  • CLICK HERE to find your polling location
  • CLICK HERE to make sure you are actively registered to vote or were purged from voting rolls earlier this year

Identification Requirements

Every voter, upon appearing at the polling place to vote on Election Day, must give their full name and current address and provide proof of identity, according to the Ohio Secretary of State.

The forms of ID that may be used by a voter who appears at a polling place to vote on Election Day include:

  • An unexpired Ohio driver’s license or state ID card with present or former address so long as the voter’s present residential address is printed in the official list of registered voters for that precinct
  • A military ID
  • An original or copy of a current* utility bill with the voter’s name and present address
  • An original or copy of a current* bank statement with the voter’s name and present address
  • An original or copy of a current* government check with the voter’s name and present address
  • An original or copy of a current* paycheck with the voter’s name and present address
  • An original or copy of a current* other government document (other than a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections) that shows the voter’s name and present address.

*Current is defined by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office is as within the last 12 months.

Local information

Click or search for your county to go to the board of elections website where more information on absentee voting, ballot measures, and races can be found:

Central Ohio:

All of Ohio:

If it is on the ballot, it’s on NBC4i.com and the free NBC4 News app — tap to download to receive alerts as the votes come in.