In Ohio, just 61% of the voting-age population is registered to vote. About 2/3 of those voted in the last presidential election, but that isn’t the only election that matters. Judicial elections are coming up!
Judges at all levels of Ohio’s judicial system make decisions every day that affect you and the rest of our community. Though they decide individual cases, it doesn’t end there. Those cases create precedents for future cases and a single decision can have far-reaching consequences. That means it’s crucial to have the most qualified and capable judges possible.
Voter turnout is frequently very low for judicial elections. About 2/3 of Ohioans report that they don’t vote in judicial elections because they don’t know enough about the candidates or the different types of judges they’re electing. Compared to other elected officials, judges are often relatively anonymous to the general population and it can be tough to know whom you’re voting for.
The good news is that there is a great resource to help you get to know your candidates. You can take a look at it here.
How To Register Or Update Your Registration
Before you even start investigating the candidates, you have to register to vote! If you’re not yet registered or if you’ve changed addresses since the last time you registered, you’ll need to register. If you haven’t voted since 2008, your registration may have been purged. That means you’ll need to register again.
You can check your Ohio voter registration status online here.
If you’re already registered but have moved, you can change your voter registration address online here. You can also send this form to your county board of elections or the Secretary of State’s office.
And if you’re not registered, you’ll need to submit a voter registration form. Once you’ve filled out the form, you can return it in person or by mail to:
- Any county board of elections
- The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office
- BMV or deputy registrars
- The Department of Job and Family Services
- The Department of Health (including the Women, Infants, and Children [WIC] program)
- The Department of Mental Health
- The Department of Mental Disabilities
- Opportunities for Ohioans With Disabilities
- Any state-assisted college or university that provides assistance to disabled students
- Any county treasurer’s office
- Any public high school or vocational school
- Any public library
The easiest place to turn in your form in person is a public high school or library – you probably pass several every day! You can find more detailed instructions for registering to vote here.
Don’t forget: The deadline to register in Ohio is Tuesday, October 11; the vote of anyone that registers after that date will not count in the upcoming election. All it takes is a simple form – then you have the ability to cast your vote in an election that really affects you and your community. So get out there and register!