Eye on Education

Your Guide to Election Day November 2012: Where to Vote, What’s on the Ballot Besides Obama vs. Romney and What it Means

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Tuesday is Election Day 2012.

Today and tomorrow are your last chances to cast your ballot for president, federal offices, state offices and local issues and levies. Seven state Board of Education seats are up for grabs, a dozen teachers are running for the statehouse, and nearly 200 school issues are on the ballot.

Here’s StateImpact Ohio’s guide on where to vote, what’s on the ballot and what it all means.

Check back on Tuesday for more on what’s happening at the polls or follow us on Twitter, and check back Tuesday evening and Wednesdayfor election results and analysis.

On Tuesday evening, you can also tune in to our partners at WCPN 90.3 or WKSU 89.7 in Northeast Ohio or WOSU 89.7 in the Columbus area for more election coverage, including live coverage after the polls close.

When and where do I vote?

On Monday, you can vote only at your county Board of Elections or, for Delaware, Franklin and Lucas county residents, at alternative locations. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On Tuesday, you can vote at your precinct’s designated polling place. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. You can find your polling place through this tool on the Secretary of State’s website.

Still have questions? Contact your local board of elections.

What if I requested an absentee, mail-in ballot?

If you’re still planning on mailing in the ballot, it must be postmarked by Monday.  You cannot fax or e-mail a voted ballot.

If you requested an absentee ballot but want to vote in person, then you or an eligible family member can bring your absentee ballot to the polls on Monday or Tuesday.

If you lost your absentee ballot but still want to vote, you can still vote in person. Go the polls and you’ll be able to cast a provisional ballot.

Still have questions? Read the Secretary of State’s absentee voting FAQ or content your local board of elections.

What do I need to bring with me to vote?

Bring acceptable identification.

That includes a driver’s license or state ID card; military ID; the original or a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck from the past year; or the original or copy of a  government document — other than a voter registration acknowledgement notification mailed by the board of elections — that shows your name and current address.

If your driver’s license shows an old address, you can still cast a regular ballot as long as your current address is listed on your precinct’s official poll list of registered voters.

But even if you don’t bring one of these documents, you can still vote using a provisional ballot.

What’s on the ballot?

Everyone has a chance to vote for

  • President and Vice President;
  • U.S. senator;
  • Representatives to Congress (all 16 districts);
  • State Supreme Court justices;
  • State representatives (all 99 districts);
  • State Issue 1 and Issue 2; and
  • County offices including commissioner, prosecutor, clerk and sheriff.

Also on the ballot in some areas:

Here’s the full list of what’s on the ballot from the Ohio Secretary of State.

What are some of the major education issues on the ballot?

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have different views on both K-12 and postsecondary education.

Education has not been a top issue in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race. Candidates Sherrod Brown and Josh Mandel both say they want to reduce federal spending on non-discretionary areas (like education). Brown has said he’s in favor of better aligning workforce training with available jobs.

Further down the ballot, many voters will have a chance to pick a state Board of Education member. Among the issues facing the state Board of Education are picking a new Ohio Department of Education chief, trying to fix some big problems with the data underlying Ohio’s school report cards; and shaping how new standardized tests for the new Common Core curriculum are used and how teachers will be evaluated.

Check out our State Board of Education voters guide to help you decide which candidate to vote for.

Also on the ballot, and often of great impact locally, are nearly 200 school levies. The majority of them are asking voters for new tax levies rather than to renew existing tax levies. Here’s the list of all the levies.


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