In-person voting begins in Ohio on Wednesday

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(The Center Square) – Voter registration ends Tuesday, and voting begins Wednesday for Ohioans who will decide reproductive rights and recreational marijuana use in the November general election.

While no statewide races are on the ballot in November, local tax issues and local government elections join the two constitutional amendments that have gained attention since mid-summer.

A proposal to raise the voting threshold for passage to 60% failed in August, leaving both reproductive rights and recreational marijuana use needing a simple majority to pass.

Abortion rights supporters and opponents rallied throughout the state over the weekend before the voter registration deadline. Voters can register or make updates online at the secretary of state website.

Ohio has 14 days of in-person voting before the general election Nov. 7. Weekday voting in October, beginning Wednesday, runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at county boards of election offices. Voting will be allowed from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 and until 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. Voting Nov. 1-3 is from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., while Nov. 4 boards are open 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., and Nov. 5 from 1-5 p.m.

As previously reported by The Center Square, Issue 1 says every individual has a right to make and carry out their reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility, treatment, continuing one’s pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion.

It would prohibit abortion after “fetal viability” except to protect the mother’s life. It defines fetal viability as when a fetus has a significant likelihood of survival outside the uterus with reasonable measures.

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights in August, found that 88% of voters nationwide, including 76% of Trump-first voters, support some form of legal abortion. Included in this 88% are 37% who believe it should be legal in all circumstances and 51% who believe it should only be legal under certain circumstances.

Issue 2 would legalize the growing, manufacturing and sale of marijuana for recreational use for those 21 and older. It would also add a 10% tax on the sale and limit the number of plants per person to 12.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol sponsored the measure and has taken in more than $4 million in contributions, according to Ballotpedia.

If approved, Ohio would become the 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana.

The general election marks the third with the state’s new voter ID requirements. In a news release, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said some voters have been told they can present an expired ID as a form of voter ID in Ohio.

LaRose said all IDs must be current and not expired.

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