Rules changes described for May 2 Primary Election voters

Ohio’s voting laws changed considerably in January 2023, when Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 458 into law. Changes are outlined here for Westlake citizens who want to participate in the May 2, 2023, Primary Election. (Bay Village's Primary Election will be held on Sept. 12, 2023.) Some actions need to be taken before April 3, 2023, the deadline for new and updated registrations for voters in the May 2 Primary.

The main changes involve the documents needed to prove identity when registering and voting. Also changed are the deadlines for mail-in-balloting actions and the schedule for early voting at the Cuyahoga Board of Elections, 2925 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.

The Board of Elections has scheduled information sessions at area libraries to assist residents in preparing to vote. The handiest such location for Bay Village and Westlake residents will be Westlake’s Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Rd, on March 23 and March 30, 2-6 p.m. each day. (Note: Voter registration forms and mail-in-ballot applications are available at all libraries every day, for even greater convenience.)

Monday, April 3, is the deadline for registering as a new voter or for changing one’s name or address in the voting records. The primary election will take place on Tuesday, May 2, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at all precinct locations. Early voting can be done at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections office, 2925 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, starting April 4 and ending April 30.

Here are the changes now in effect:

Registering to Vote:

• New registrations and name and address changes can be done online, on paper, and in person.
• The deadline for receipt of your registration is Monday, April 3. You need to allow delivery time if mailed in or plan to deliver in person to the Cuyahoga Board of Elections on or before Monday, April 3.

Vote-By-Mail (Absentee Ballot):

• Any registered voter may request a mail-in ballot. You need only the last 4 digits of your SSN to request and vote with an absentee ballot.
• Requests for mail-in-ballots must be made on the official Secretary of State form (printable from and returned to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections office no later than Tuesday, April 25, at 8:30 p.m. Once received, you will be mailed a ballot to complete.
• Monday, May 1, is the postmark deadline for returning completed mail-in ballots.
• Completed mail-in ballots may be returned to the secure drop box in the Board of Elections parking lot no later than Tuesday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. (The new legislation limits drop boxes to one location per county; the drop box will be open 24/7 during early voting.)

In-Person Voting on Election Day, Tuesday, May 2, 2023:

• If you want to vote in person, you need to have a valid photo ID
• There are only 5 acceptable IDs for voting in person:
     - An Ohio driver’s license
     - An Ohio-issued state identification card
     - A U.S. or OH state military ID
     - A U.S. passport
• If you do not have a valid ID, you should plan to vote with an absentee ballot using the last four digits of your SSN as your identification.

Curbside Voting:

Any voter with a disability who is physically unable to enter the polling place may vote curbside. Two precinct election officials from the major political parties will bring a ballot to you. You may sit in your car and vote, or you may vote at the door of the building.

Early Voting at Board of Elections, April 4-30, 2023:

• Bring your valid photo ID (see list above).
• 2023 schedule for early in-person voting:
      - April 4-21, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
      - April 24, 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
      - April 25, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
      - April 26-28, 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
      - April 29, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
      - April 30, 1-5 p.m.

Please make a plan to vote in every election. Be an early voter, or request your absentee ballot early and return your ballot promptly.

Cynthia White, Kathy Woolner, Nadia Zaiem

Cynthia White, Chair, Bay Village Chapter
Kathy Woolner, Co-chair, Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter
Nadia Zaiem, Co-chair, Westlake-North Olmsted Chapter
League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 10:13 AM, 03.21.2023