2020 Election

WOSU has your guide to the 2020 election in Ohio and around the country. Find stories here on the presidential contest, U.S. House races and more from WOSU and NPR.

Read our Ohio voting guide for information on how to vote and what's on your ballot. And check out WOSU's visual guide to voting in the 2020 election.

Here’s some key dates to know for the fall election:

  • General election voter registration deadline: Oct. 5, 2020
  • Early voting begins: Oct. 6, 2020
  • Deadline to request absentee ballot: Oct. 31, 2020
  • Early voting and mail-in voting ends: Nov. 2, 2020
  • General election: Nov. 3, 2020

WOSU also wants to hear from Ohioans about what you care about in 2020. Below, tell us what issues you want candidates to talk about during this election.


Operation Grant supporters in front of the Ohio Statehouse.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the presidential debate debacle in Cleveland and why some Ohio Republicans are working to elect Joe Biden. Phil Heimlich, a founding member of Operation Grant, joins the show.

With just a month remaining in the presidential campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden's team is launching in-person canvassing in key states.

The effort will start this weekend, the Democratic campaign said, with several hundred volunteers canvassing in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Michigan and Nevada.

The move is a reversal for the Biden campaign, which suspended face-to-face canvassing in the spring because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and, apart from distributing mailers, stuck to that stance in the following months.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections will be allowed to collect ballots at a second location near the board’s headquarters, as Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose partially lifts a prohibition on plans to expand ballot drop-off locations.  

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden boarded a train from the Downtown Cleveland lakefront Wednesday morning headed for Pennsylvania, with a stop in Alliance, Ohio.

He spent the previous night in Northeast Ohio following the first presidential debate, then joined his wife Jill at a morning campaign rally by the Amtrak station.

A bowl of stickers for those taking advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Steubenville, Ohio.
Gene Puskar / Associated Press

Ohioans have until Monday, October 5 to register to vote if they want to cast a ballot in this year’s election. Most people can go online to register, but that might not be as easy for college students or others who move often.

Applications for voter ballots are seen at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

More than two million Ohioans have requested absentee ballots to be sent to them, but some of those voters are having second thoughts. 

Voters cast their ballots at the Cincinnati Public Library's polling station, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

During the first presidential debate in Cleveland, President Donald Trump urged his supporters to go to voting locations and "watch very carefully." The comment was made during a discussion on the election results.

But Ohio voter advocates are making it clear that only people with a special designation can actually go into polling locations with voters.

COVID-19 is still spreading across the United States, but you would barely know it by how people are planning to vote this year.

As the pandemic took hold in the spring, voting experts predicted a national shift toward mail or absentee voting. Some experts predicted as many as 70% of all votes cast could be by mail, as was the case in Wisconsin's April primary.

On Wednesday afternoon, Donald Trump Jr. spoke at a Trump for President event in Tipp City.

He rallied several hundred supporters of his father’s race for president at the Cedar Springs Pavilion. The venue is an old world, Italian style pavilion “where elegance meets nature,” according to its website. The property features a native prairie and a cascading waterfall. It’s usually rented for weddings.

Concern is growing over potential confrontations at polling places due to deep partisan divides and baseless claims by President Trump that Democrats will "steal" the election.

In Tuesday night's debate with Democrat Joe Biden, Trump repeated his attacks on widespread mail-in voting, calling it a "disaster" and saying "this is not going to end well."

The president also urged his supporters, as he has done before, "to go into the polls and watch very carefully."

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is offering some clarity to voters who requested mail-in ballots but now want to vote in person instead.

LaRose’s office issued a directive to local election officials this week with guidance for handling in-person votes from Ohioans who already requested absentee ballots.

The full directive is available on the secretary of state’s website, but here are the basics of what you need to know:

The secure ballot drop box at the Franklin County Board of Elections on Morse Road.
Darrin McDonald / WOSU

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says more ballot drop boxes are needed for Ohio's fall election, and says union tradespeople are offering to make them at no cost so they can be put in place promptly.

"Puzzling," "arrogant," "unhinged," "bully," "classic Trump" — those were some of the words a focus group of undecided swing state voters used to describe President Trump's debate performance Tuesday night.

For Democratic nominee Joe Biden: "Politician," "predictable," "leader," "rehearsed," "nice guy," "compassion," "coherent," "evasive."

Analysis Of The First Presidential Debate

Sep 30, 2020
President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Julio Cortez / AP

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden faced off in Cleveland last night for their first debate.

It was less a debate than a 90-minute combative exchange full of interruptions and few ideas.