Tuesday, November 7 is Election Day!
This election is an important one for Ohioans, as there are two statewide issues, multiple local issues and several judicial races on the ballot.
To feel empowered when going to the polls, LMM recommends that you print and review a sample ballot prior to filling out your absentee ballot or going to vote. This will allow you to keep track of your researched and pre-selected ballot and judicial choices, and vote quickly and with confidence. To find your sample ballot from Cuyahoga County look here; in Lorain County you can find it here.
Once you know what’s on your ballot you can do the necessary research.
According to the non-partisan website Ballotopedia, Issue 1 would establish a state constitutional right to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” including decisions about abortion, contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care, and continuing pregnancy.
Also on all Ohio ballots is Issue 2, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, an indirect initiated state statute which would legalize recreational marijuana. According Ballotopedia, Issue 2 would legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and above, including cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, and home growth.
Cuyahoga County residents are being asked to support Issue 5, which is a 2.1 mill renewal levy that includes a .4 mill increase to support Cuyahoga Community College. Specifically, the levy will collect $75 million annually for the county-wide community college and is said to used to keep tuition affordable and support technical education and workforce training.
Another key issue on the ballot for Cleveland residents is Issue 38. If passed, Issue 38 would allocate up to 2% of the city’s general fund for Cleveland residents to decide how to spend. This portion of the general fund would be placed in the People’s Budget Fund, which would be overseen by the People’s Budget Steering Committee. These funds would allow Cleveland city residents 13 and over can offer ideas, create proposals, and vote on proposals they would like to see implemented.
In addition to these ballot initiatives there are several lesser known judicial races in play. Judges have the ability to promote equity and fairness in the criminal justice system and thus can have a tremendous impact on individual lives.
Unfortunately, a 2014 survey conducted by the Ohio Fair Courts Alliance found that 63% of Ohio voters didn’t vote for judges because they didn’t know enough about the candidates.
To learn more about the judicial races in your district, the League of Women Voters has a helpful primer on how to select judicial candidates. Judge4Yourself also offers independent, non-partisan reviews of candidates on discrete criteria.