The 2023 Election Breakdown
The deadline for registering to vote is October 10
Written by Michael Eadie
Figures in voting advocacy constantly drone on to university students about why voting is so important, and how each election is more important than the last. But there is a reason for this endless push to get young people to vote — young people don't do it much. The upcoming November 7 election in Ohio is all the more reason to challenge that status quo. Luckily, the process isn't too complicated. Here's a breakdown.
First, a showcase of the two major ballot issues. Issue 1 (which can be confusing because it shares the same name as Issue 1 from this summer) protects abortion access and the right for a person who is able to get pregnant to choose what they do with their body. Issue 2 is the effort to legalize recreational marijuana usage for adults 21 and older, in a way similar to how alcohol is treated.
A vote for YES on either of these issues would support their passage and enshrinement into the Ohio Constitution, thus making these rights more difficult for legislators to challenge. A NO vote would leave things as-is, keeping abortion access in Ohio limited to before the first sign of fetal cardiac activity in the case of Issue 1, and restricting marijuana usage to medical purposes in the case of Issue 2.
Last, and particularly relevant for registered Cleveland voters, is Issue 38. This issue would create a public budgeting body that would include citizen input in the budgeting process, using money from the city’s General Fund. Proponents of this issue believe that this added civic engagement is important in keeping voters engaged and educated on government workings and that it will encourage citizens to vote. Those who are against Issue 38 cite the need for Cleveland’s budget and General Fund to be balanced, arguing that the Public Budgeting commission will likely create complete stand-stills in the legislative and budgetary process. Essentially, they argue, the City Council would be left with less money for much needed public and safety services around the city.
The Voting Process
The next step in understanding the November 7 election is knowing where, when and how to vote. The deadline for registering to vote is October 10, and voter registration can be checked on voterlookup.ohiosos.gov. This will also help voters find their voting location, as everyone must vote in their precinct's polling location on Election Day (usually a nearby church or school, though the information is easily found online).
For those who want to vote early and in-person, this opportunity begins October 11, with votes being cast at the County Board of Elections. For those who want to vote by mail, the deadline to request an absentee ballot is seven days before the election, with the request information available on ohiosos.gov. Any in-person voting will require valid identification, typically referring to an ID with an address included. This includes a driver's license, state ID, passport and more, information which can be found on the same website as previously mentioned.
All issues will be listed on the ballot along with a short, unbiased explanation. Poll workers are stationed at all voting locations to help with the process and address any questions or concerns while voting. Those interested in voting on Issue 38 should know that it will only appear on the ballot for Cleveland residents. Voting should not be hard or confusing. Some government employees purposefully make it seem more daunting than it actually is, so the youth vote will be smaller and less impactful. As young voters, it is our job to work past those boundaries.
The Importance of Voting
You may be asking yourself why does voting really matter? Plenty of other people are already going to, so what's the point in just one more vote being cast? These three issues are a fairly close race, with most polling showing the margin being within 5-10 points for each issue. Beyond the tight races, you have the opportunity to support something or someone you care about. If you care about the issues, then vote. It's easy, it takes no more than an hour in total (less by mail) and it can make a major impact on the future of Ohio and Cleveland.
Regardless of what you may choose to vote for or against, showing up and engaging in the civic duty to make our voices and opinions heard is ever-important. The government does not and cannot work without the people it represents being a part of the process. We all owe it to ourselves to make even the smallest difference, so vote. Vote for whichever issue that you care about, for whatever reason you care about it. Be a genuine part of your home.