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Ohio voting laws have changed. Here's what you need to know for the 2023 primary

Sherifatu Kafaru Early Voting September 14 Ideastream Public Media Gabriel Kramer.jpg
Gabriel Kramer
Ideastream Public Media
Early voting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in 2021.

Ohio voters are facing a number of changes in how and when they can vote in this year's primary as a result of new requirements Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law at the beginning of the year. And election officials are working to get voters up-to-speed on the changes.

The most immediate of the changes is the deadline for mail-in ballots. The application can be printed at home, but must be taken to the board of elections by 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25.

“We’re taking the former deadline of the Saturday before the election and moved it to the Tuesday before. One week before Election Day,” Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Executive Director Tony Perlatti said during a Tuesday afternoon Facebook Live news conference.

When a voter returns their ballot, it must be postmarked by May 1, the day before the primary, and received by the board of elections by the fourth day after the election, in order to be counted. Before the law change, ballots could arrive up to 10 days after Election Day.

One of the biggest changes affects early in-person voting which ends on Sunday. Early in-person voting on the Monday before the primary has been eliminated. To make up for the lost day of early voting, boards of elections have extended hours for in-person voting this week.

This week's early in-person voting schedule.
Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
This week's early in-person voting schedule.

“We are always committed to making sure this process is inclusive, accessible, easy, accurate and done with integrity,” Perlatti said.

The state has also changed requirements when it comes to the ID voters need to present.

Utility bills, bank statements, government checks, government documents, paychecks and concealed carry permit are no longer accepted.

Voters can provide an Ohio driver's license, an Ohio state ID card, a U.S. passport or passport card or a military ID as acceptable forms of identification. State-issued IDs must not be expired.

“As always, every time you have the opportunity to vote in an election, you need to exercise this important right. Every election is equally important,” Perlatti said.

He advises all voters to check their polling locationswhich change from time to time – and to review sample ballots ahead of time which can be found on board of elections websites.

About a quarter of Cuyahoga County residents have items to consider on the May ballot.

In Canton, residents are choosing the Democrat and Republican who will face off for mayor in the general election in November.

And in Akron, there are seven candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for mayor. With no Republicans on the ballot, the winner of the Democratic primary will likely be the city's next mayor.

The seven candidates discuss their safety priorities, housing goals and thoughts on public education.

Gabriel Kramer is a reporter/producer and the host of “NewsDepth,” Ideastream Public Media's news show for kids.