Voting Rights

A view of an Ohio voting sticker at the Hamilton County Board of Elections to participate in early voting, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Norwood, Ohio.
Aaron Doster / Associated Press

President Trump has taken to Twitter with a misleading claim that people who previously voted for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden can change their vote. But you cannot do that in Ohio.

Updated at 12:26 p.m. ET

Amy Coney Barrett became the 115th Supreme Court Justice Tuesday when Chief Justice John Roberts administered the judicial oath of office in a private ceremony at the court. Barrett immediately was faced with an unusual motion seeking her recusal in an election procedures case currently pending before the court from Pennsylvania.

Updated: 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020

Two out-of-state far-right activists have been charged with intimidating voters in Cuyahoga County.

According to the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office, the scheme was allegedly hatched by Jacob Wohl, 22, and Jack Burkman, 54, to deter people from voting by mail.

The pair is accused of sending more than 8,100 robocalls on August 26 to numbers in Cleveland and East Cleveland.

A social distancing sign rests on the floor as people participate during early voting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Ohio boards of elections are seeing an unprecedented flood of early in-person voting and dropping off of absentee ballots, in spite of heated partisanship that has bred fear among some voters. Elections officials, law enforcement and citizens groups are mobilized to keep voters safe.

Rev. Jim Wallis
Sojourners

Ohio is one of nine states that is part of an initiative between lawyers and clergy members to help voters cast their ballots on Election Day.

In preparation for next month’s election, ideastream is answering your questions about voting. A listener in Yellow Springs asked how election officials can spot double voting and what the penalties are for trying to vote twice.

Poll workers have electronic poll books that list who’s voted and who’s applied for an absentee ballot.

Two voters fill out ballots during early voting at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

In 2016, Black voters in Ohio were among those most targeted for digital-media misinformation. Often, the goal wasn’t so much to sway their votes as to ensure they wouldn’t vote at all.

Ohio voting advocates are concerned the same type of campaign is in play this year – but many are going on offense instead.

Democrats are litigating Judge Amy Coney Barrett's record and outlook on voting as the Senate Judiciary Committee wraps up her three days in the spotlight this week.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said she worried about Barrett's longtime closeness with Justice Antonin Scalia in view of Scalia's antipathy toward the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court partly dismantled in a 2013 ruling.

Throughout October, ideastream is answering your questions about the election, voting and more. We talked with Faith Lyon, director of the Portage County Board of Elections, and got answers to your many ballot signature validation questions.

“We’re looking for similarities and closeness,” she told ideastream. “We understand certain conditions cause individual signatures to maybe vary daily. So we’re really looking for that consistency of what is close to your normal signature.”

A severed fiber optic line cable forced Virginia's online voter registration system to shut down for much of Tuesday, the last day for residents of the commonwealth to register for next month's general election.

The Virginia Department of Elections announced the issue on social media shortly before 10 a.m. local time. At about 3:30 p.m., it said the problem was resolved, nearly six hours after it began.

A view of an Ohio voting sticker at the Hamilton County Board of Elections to participate in early voting, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Norwood, Ohio.
Aaron Doster / Associated Press

If you wear your red "Make America Great Again" hat or your "Ridin' with Biden" t-shirt to the polls this fall, you could be asked to remove it or turn your shirt inside out. Ohio law says you cannot enter a polling place wearing any article of clothing that advocates for or against a candidate.

Clark County Board of Elections Deputy Director Amber Lopez next to the county's drop box.
Nick Evans / WOSU

The election is well under way in Ohio. Thousands of voters around the state braved chilly mornings and long lines to cast their ballot in the first week of early voting.

A second ballot drop-off location will be available for Cuyahoga County voters as of Tuesday morning.

Cuyahoga County Board of Elections staff will be available to accept completed ballots starting at 8 a.m. at the Campus International High School on Chester Avenue. The parking lot for the school is directly across E. 30th Street from the back of the board of election main building and the main drop box.

A poll worker checks in an early voter at the Franklin County Board of Elections on Oct. 6, 2020.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Ohioans are technically required to wear face masks when they vote in-person this election. But what happens if the voter refuses to wear one?

Many of the approximately 300 lawsuits filed this year over voting rules have been settled. But some key ones remain unresolved and court decisions could still reshape how voting is conducted in some crucial states.

The flurry of last-minute legal action comes as more than 5 million people have already cast ballots early or by mail, causing some confusion over what voters have to do to ensure that their votes count.

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