Voter registration deadline today, early voting starts next

When the fireworks die down, it’s time to check your voter registration.

Today is the registration deadline to vote in the Aug. 2 election, which includes partisan primaries for state House and Senate seats, the central committees of both major political parties, and in some places local ballot issues.

Wednesday is the starting date for sending out regular absentee ballots and for early in-person voting at county board of election offices. Absentee ballots for military and overseas voters started going out June 17.

Regular in-person voting for the Aug. 2 election will take place 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Absentee ballots must be returned to boards of elections by the time in-person polls close – unless they’re mailed, in which case they must be postmarked no later than Aug. 1 and received by Aug. 12. The deadline for mailing an absentee ballot application back to local boards of election is noon July 30.

Aug. 12 is also the day military and overseas absentee ballots must be received by election officials.

To vote in person, people must bring identification to the polls. That can be a driver’s license, military ID or other official ID card; or a recent utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck that shows the voter’s name and current address.

People without any of those kinds of identification can still cast provisional ballots by providing the last four digits of their Social Security numbers.

Absentee ballots can be requested at, or from your county’s board of elections office. Through those county boards’ websites or, people can also find their polling places, see sample ballots, register to vote or sign up to be poll workers.

State House and Senate seats, along with the related central committee seats for political parties, were supposed to be on May 3 primary ballots. But the 10-month wrangle over drawing new state legislative district maps, as required following the 2020 census, made that impossible. The Ohio Supreme Court repeatedly rejected Republican-backed maps as unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans, who hold a supermajority in current General Assembly and control five of the seven seats on the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

On May 27 a panel of federal judges imposed one of those already-rejected maps for use in the 2022 election cycle, meaning the redistricting commission will have to reconvene late this year or in early 2023 to draw maps for the 2024 election.

The state House, Senate and party central committee primaries were moved to Aug. 2, when some counties already had local-option issues on the ballot.

Many of the partisan primaries for state legislative seats are uncontested, though in late June the Ohio Supreme Court ordered six Democratic candidates added to the ballot due to confusion over filing deadlines resulting from the map dispute. That includes one added to some ballots in Montgomery County.

Here are the contested primary elections in the Miami Valley on the Aug. 2 ballot:

House District 46 (Northeastern Butler County, including Monroe and Middletown)

Republican primary

- Thomas Hall (Incumbent)

- Matt King

House District 47 (Central and northwest Butler County including Hamilton and Oxford

Republican primary

- Sara Carruthers (Incumbent)

- Cody Harper

House District 55 (Eastern and northern Warren County, including Springboro)

Republican primary

- Thomas Goodwin

- Scott Lipps (Incumbent)

House District 56 (Central and southwest Warren County, including Lebanon and Mason)

Democratic primary

- Joy Bennett

- Sam Cao

Republican primary

- Kathy Grossmann

- Adam Mathews

House District 70 (Western Greene County, including Beavercreek)

Republican primary

- Brian Lampton (Incumbent)

- Katherine Shutte

House District 85 (Champaign, Shelby and part of Logan counties)

Republican primary

- Lilli Johnson Vitale

- Tim Barhorst

- Rochiel Foulk

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