The Clinton County Board of Elections wants to ensure county voters are aware of recent changes to election law that will go into effect for the upcoming May election.
House Bill 458, passed by the 134th Ohio General Assembly at the end of 2022, made a host of legislative changes to the administration of elections in Ohio. These changes will be in place for the May 2, 2023 Primary/Special Election when early in-person voting starts and the first absentee ballots are sent to domestic voters on Tuesday, April 4.
The biggest change relates to voter identification. Generally, voters will be required to provide a photo ID to vote in person, whether at the board office during early in-person voting or at their polling location on Election Day. Acceptable photo ID will include a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, Military ID (including national guard or VA ID card) or a U.S. passport. Voters without photo ID will be required to cast a provisional ballot. If a voter has a religious objection to being photographed, they may complete an affidavit of religious objection.
Voters who prefer to vote by mail may use identification consisting of either a driver’s license number, state ID number, last four digits of their social security number, or a copy (front AND back) of their photo identification.
House Bill 458 also made other changes to voting by mail. Voters who wish to request an absentee ballot must now use the form provided by the Ohio Secretary of State. The deadline for those requests will move from noon on the Saturday before the election to 8:30 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election (Tuesday, April 25). Voters who need to “cure” their ballot – correcting information on their absentee ballot – will have until the Saturday after the election to do so.
The hours for early in-person voting saw some changes under House Bill 458. Early in-person voting on the Monday before Election Day has been eliminated and those hours have been redistributed into the final week of early in-person voting. The early in-person voting hours for the May 2, 2023 Primary/Special Election will be as follows:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Week 1 – Tuesday, April 4 to Friday, April 7
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Week 2 – Monday, April 10 to Friday, April 14
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Week 3 – Monday, April 17 to Friday, April 21
7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Week 4 – Monday, April 24
7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Week 4 – Tuesday, April 25
7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Week 4 – Wednesday, April 26 to Friday, April 28
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Week 4 – Saturday, April 29
1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Week 4 – Sunday, April 30
(LAST DAY OF EARLY IN-PERSON VOTING)
The last major change to elections relates to drop boxes. The Clinton County Board of Elections currently has one drop box for accepting returned, voted ballots. This dropbox can be found outside of the main entrance to the Clinton County Office Building where the Board of Elections is located at 111 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington, OH 45177 (Entrance B). The drop box is monitored by 24/7 video surveillance. Beginning with the May 2, 2023, Primary/Special Election, video footage will be available to download for those who wish to review it.
“Though HB 458 includes many changes to how elections are to be administered in Ohio, right now we are focused on those changes that will directly impact voters for the May Primary/Special Election in Clinton County,” said Shane C. Breckel, director of the Clinton County Board of Elections. “Additional election changes from HB 458 will be communicated to voters over the next few months as we prepare for the November General Election.”
For more information on the May 2 Primary/Special Election, please visit the BOE’s website at https://www.boe.ohio.gov/clinton/ or contact the office by phone, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 937-382-3537. The registration deadline for the election is Monday, April 3, 2023. The BOE office will be open until 9 p.m. for those who would like to submit their registration in person.