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For Ohio Voters, "Golden Week" Is Back – At Least, for Now

PHOTO: Absentee ballot applications have been mailed out in Ohio, but it's still unclear when early voting by mail, or in person, will begin. Photo credit: M. Kuhlman.
PHOTO: Absentee ballot applications have been mailed out in Ohio, but it's still unclear when early voting by mail, or in person, will begin. Photo credit: M. Kuhlman.
September 16, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The November election is just around the corner, but voting dates and deadlines seem to be ever-changing in Ohio.

A law that went into effect early this year eliminated the so-called "Golden Week," when Ohioans could register and vote in the first week of early voting. But this month, a federal judge granted an injunction, moving the start date of early voting back to September 30th instead of October 7th.

Carrie Davis with the League of Women Voters says the state is appealing that decision.

"There's a real question of how much time folks are going to have to prepare for this," she says. "As of right now, early voting may begin on Tuesday, September 30th - or it may begin on Tuesday, October 7th."

Meanwhile, Davis says the most critical deadline for voters is less than three weeks away. Voter registrations must be submitted by the close of business Monday, October 6th, in order to vote in the November general election.

All currently registered voters should already have received an absentee ballot application in the mail. Because this is a mid-term election, Davis says the Secretary of State sent them out this year, just as was done for the 2012 Presidential election.

"However, the Legislature has prohibited that from happening in future years, unless they appropriate money for doing such a mailing," she says. "So once again, voters in Ohio are left to be a little bit confused because the rules seem to change so much from year to year."

Davis adds it's a good idea for all voters to check to make sure their registration is up-to-date so they will be able to cast a ballot on November 4th.

"We know, especially in a poor economy, people tend to move around a lot, and it's real easy to forget to update your registration," explains Davis. "The easiest thing you can do is go online onto myohiovote.com, and if you need to update the address, you can do that right online now."

According to the office of the Ohio Secretary of State, 49 percent of registered voters turned out for the last mid-term election in 2010.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH