ELECTION BASICS – 2020
by Melanie Elsey, Legislative Liaison for CHEO
Scripture teaches us that we are to be subject to the governing authorities because they have been established by God. (Romans 13)
The United States of America has the world’s most unique government structure in that we are a constitutional republic set up as one nation comprised of 50 independent and yet dependent states. Our governmental authority referenced in Romans 13 provides for our selection of the individuals who temporarily serve in positions of authority. These men and women are not tasked to provide us with our fundamental rights. Our rights are endowed by our Creator. Our governmental representatives are tasked with keeping these rights secure.
Each time we vote we are fulfilling a sacred duty. We may think, with all of the cultural chaos we are experiencing, this election cycle will be the most consequential. I would offer the premise that every election cycle is consequential because we did not get to where we are today in the last few years. It has been coming for decades.
This legislative update is devoted entirely on encouraging you to cast your vote from an informed perspective and encouraging others to do the same. Please share this information with friends, family and social media platforms.
VOTER REGISTRATION REMINDERS:
Ohio voter registration deadline: October 5
* This link allows each person to check his/her voter registration status and to register. https://voterlookup.ohiosos.gov/voterlookup.aspx
* Reminders are helpful if you know anyone who has recently married or changed his/her residential address.
* Someone who is 17 years of age but will be 18 years old by Nov. 3 can register to vote this year.
CASTING YOUR BALLOT:
Ohio early in-person and absentee voting begins on October 6.
1. Absentee Voting
Ohio Secretary of State will be mailing absentee ballot applications to every registered voter this year due to COVID-19. But campaigns are also mailing out absentee applications. It would be best (IF you are choosing to vote absentee) to use the official State of Ohio application received in the mail OR request an application at this link. https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/how-to-request-your-absentee-ballot/
Once your application is received an actual ballot will be mailed to you.Fill out your ballot EXACTLY as instructed on the envelope. It would be BEST to personally drop it off at your county board of elections (before 7:30pm on election day) so you can be sure it was received. If you choose to mail it to the board of elections, it must be postmarked by November 2 and received no later than Nov. 13.
2. Early In-Person Voting:
You may vote in person before November 3 at your county board of elections.
The locations for each board of elections are in the link. https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/elections-officials/county-boards-of-elections-directory/
The hours open for early in-person voting are on the calendar in the link. https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/current-voting-schedule/
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3:
• Ohio polls will be open from 6:30 am – 7:30pm.
• Bring a form of identification and it is possible you will be expected to wear a mask.
Misc. Election Reminders:
Some county boards of elections offer sample ballots online so you can see exactly who will be on your ballot for ALL offices presented.
Do your research in advance. iVoters.com is a nonpartisan site that has informational links for all candidates from the Statehouses in all 50 states to the White House. Please share this link with churches, social media platforms, and friends/family across the country.
If the information is not on iVoters.com google the candidates name. You will find statements made in the media. You may find their social media platforms. It is an excellent practice to check out who is endorsing the candidate. These endorsements are usually listed as a link on his/her website or social media page. For example, if a candidate is endorsed by a pro-life group or the NRA you will know where they stand on these policy issues. If you are not familiar with an endorsement group go to their website and click on their “about us” tab or mission statement. For example, E.M.I.L.Y.’s List was not named after someone named Emily. It stands for Early Money is Like Yeast. They only support Democratic, Progressive, Pro-abortion Women. If they endorse a candidate I know I personally can’t vote for that candidate.
Finally, it is always a good idea to have a conversation with a candidate. If you can’t find enough information to make an informed decision, call the candidate directly. The boards of elections should have contact information available on each candidate. Ask questions from a general perspective without telling him/her up front what your position is. For example, if you want to know where a state board of education candidate’s position is on home education, you may want to ask, “What is your position on school choice?” “Ohio has several options available to parents, public, private, chartered, home education. Do you have any concerns with any of these options?
ATTENTION HOME EDUCATORS:
Ohio State Board of Education has specific jurisdiction over the state regulations for home education. This board is comprised of 11 elected members and 8 members appointed by the governor. The terms for board members are 4 years with a max of 2 terms. This is a nonpartisan board so there is no primary election – only the general election in November. Half of the elected members run every other even numbered year.
This year the following State Board of Education seats are up for election:
Here is a link to a map (scroll to the bottom of the page). http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Members
District 1: Diana Fessler (No one else filed to run in this district.)
District 5: Lisa Woods (incumbent) and Christine Collins
District 6: Antoinette Miranda (incumbent) and Alice Nicks
District 9: Ron Hood and Michelle Newman
District 10: Mary Binegar and Brendan Shea
District 11: Meryl Johnson (incumbent) Michele Elba, Jedi Hill and Richard Neale
Nonprofit organizations cannot endorse specific candidates, but local support groups who do not have a nonprofit status CAN. Individuals can spread the word on which candidates would be supportive of a parent’s right to direct the education of their children through home education and any other option. Please use every social media platform available. There IS a conservative option in every single race this year!