COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — It’s only one week before voters across Ohio will head to the ballot box. However, unlike the election in 2020 or even the two primary elections in 2022, some voters won’t need to cast their ballots on May 2.

A handful of counties in central Ohio won’t be holding primary elections, including Athens, Noble, Perry, Pike, and Ross counties. And in some counties, only some voters will be casting ballots:

  • In Pickaway County, only Republicans in Circleville and Washington and Walnut townships have races
  • In Morrow County, only voters in the River Valley School District and First Consolidated Fire District have races.

The counties that are holding elections won’t see any of the major races that traditionally draw voters during an even-year election. For example, the list of ballot issues for Franklin County shows 14 liquor sales questions on the ballot, with only one exception: a proposed bond issue for Madison-Plains Local School District.

As far as candidates, there are only two in Franklin County, and both will move on to November anyway: Steve Browne and Laurie A. Jadwin are both running for mayor of Gahanna, and the top two vote-getters in the primary head to the fall ballot.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there running for office. For example, Columbus’ mayor will be decided in November, but with only two candidates — incumbent Andrew Ginther and challenger Joe Motil — there is no need for a primary vote.

However, despite the lack of races with any major national or even statewide impact, voters who do head to the polls are subject to new voter ID rules signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine this year.

A photo ID is now required for anyone who wants to cast a ballot in Ohio, whereas previously, something showing the voter’s home address such as a utility bill would be accepted. Voters without photo IDs will be able to cast provisional ballots on Election Day, and then return to the county board of elections headquarters with a photo ID to prove their identity.

Voters are encouraged to visit their county board of elections website (see below) to find out if they will head to the polls next week and what issues or candidates they will be voting on.

Primary Election Day 2023

Absentee Ballots

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and can be requested by clicking here.

Like the voter ID changes, this is another change to Ohio’s election process; voters were previously allowed to request an absentee ballot up until the Saturday before the election (three days). That deadline is now seven days before Election Day.

All absentee ballots must be postmarked the day before election day — May 1, in this case. If not returned by mail, the ballots must be received by the voter’s county board of election by the time polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

If you requested an absentee ballot but choose to vote in person on Election Day, you must vote a provisional ballot, used by the state should a voter’s registration be in question. This can be for multiple reasons, normally due to a voter changing addresses or, in this case, an absentee ballot being registered to that voter.

Identification needed to vote

Acceptable forms of ID in order to vote include:

  • Ohio driver’s license;
  • State of Ohio ID card;
  • Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV;
  • A US passport;
  • A US passport card;
  • US military ID card;
  • Ohio National Guard ID card; or
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs ID card

All photo IDs must have the following:

  • An expiration date that has not passed;
  • A photograph of the voter;
  • The voter’s name, which must substantially conform to the voter’s name as it appears in the Poll List or in the Poll Book

Voters who cannot provide a valid form of identification will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. Should a voter not provide a valid ID at the polls and cast a provisional ballot, that voter must provide a valid form of identification at their county board of elections within seven days of the election in order to have their vote counted.


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

Local information

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

Central Ohio

All Ohio Counties