Voting is directly administered by county boards of election and
supervised by their respective Secretary of States. Ohio has 88
counties and Michigan has 83.
Recent polls show a statistical dead-heat in the Ohio governor’s
Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and
Democratic candidate Richard Cordray, the former chief of
the national Consumer Protection Financial Bureau. That may draw
more voters into the election, as past tight races in Ohio have
led to higher voter turnout.
In addition to statewide races, there will also be 1,661 local
issues across Ohio and a number of local races, which voters can
obtain additional information on by contacting their county
board of elections. Turnout statewide probably won’t top the 70
percent-plus during presidential-election years but could
outpace previous gubernatorial election years-- 41 percent (3.1
million of 7.7 million registered voters) in 2014 and 50 percent
(3.9 million of 8 million) in 2010.
Early, in-person voting
began Oct. 10, 2018, along with absentee voting by mail, one day
after the deadline to register to vote or update a voter
Weekday in-person voting runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through
Friday, Oct. 26. Boards of elections across Ohio will be open
Oct. 27, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., then extended weekday voting hours
from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Nov. 2.
Weekend early voting hours will be available just before
Election Day: Saturday,
Nov. 3, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 4, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The last day of early voting will be Monday, Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 2
The deadline to request an absentee ballot in Ohio is
noon on Saturday, Nov. 3. Mailed absentee ballots must be
postmarked by the day before the Nov. 6 general election, but
voters are able to drop off absentee ballots at their county
board of elections office until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.
Polls will be open in Ohio from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on
Tuesday, Nov. 6.
In Michigan, Democratic former
county prosecutor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican state
Attorney General Bill Schuette are vying for governor.
Most recent polls have shown Ms. Whitmer with a comfortable
lead, also suggesting Democrats have a fair chance to unseat
some Republicans in mid-term congressional races.
Michigan does not
have early voting, unless voters choose to
cast an absentee ballot prior to Election Day. However,
Michigan Proposal 3 on the November ballot would change
Proposal 3 is a proposed
constitutional amendment which, if passed, would add eight
voting policies, including straight-ticket voting, automatic
voter registration, same-day voter registration, and no-excuse
absentee voting, to the Michigan state constitution. All of
those policies listed would occur during the 40 days before an
election and are new policies.
proposed constitutional amendment would allow a U.S.citizen who
is qualified to vote in Michigan to become automatically
registered to vote when applying for, updating or renewing a
driver's license or state-issued personal identification card,
unless the person declines.
An eligible Michigan voter would be able to simultaneously
register to vote with proof of residency and obtain a ballot
during the two-week period prior to an election, up to and
including Election Day. There would no longer be one of six
reasons required to obtain an absentee ballot.
A voter also would be allowed to cast a straight-ticket vote for
all candidates of a particular political party when voting in a
partisan general election.
Some of these voting policies outlined in Proposal 3
already exist in state statute, but not the state constitution,
while most others would be altered policies or new policies.
Proposal 3 also would allow eligible
persons to register to vote by mail until 15 days before an
election, whereas current law allows them to register to vote by
mail until 30 days before an election. The ballot initiative
would also constitutionalize existing law providing that
military members and overseas voters receive an absentee ballot
at least 45 days before the election.
Proposal 3 would add language to the
constitution to provide for the use of secret ballots and
election results auditing.
Michigan Proposal 2
is a constitutional amendment that seeks to end
gerrymandering in drawing up Congressional and statewide
legislative districts in Michigan. At six pages long, election
observers call it one of the most complex ballot issues they’ve
ever seen at the state level.
But the proposal forwarded by the group Voters not
Politicians has survived enough court challenges to make the
Nov. 6 ballot. Michigan is presently one of 28 states which
allows the legislature to draw redistricting maps. Elections
experts call Michigan one of the most gerrymandered states in
the nation, where Democrats won more than half of the votes for
the statehouse in 2016, but Republicans won most of the seats.
If the ballot initiative passes, a nonpartisan commission would
be in charge of redrawing district lines. A commission of 13
independent citizens would meet every decade after the federal
census to redraw districts that are more politically
competitive. The commission would be made up of four
Republicans, four Democrats, and five independents, overseen by
the Michigan Secretary of State, including choosing from the
commission applicants at random.