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League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

November 2016 Election Day Phone Bank at WBNS 10TV

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

County Boards of Elections

 

 

FRANKLIN  |  Delaware  |  Fairfield  |  Licking  |  Madison  |  Pickaway  |  Union

 

           

Directory of all Boards of Elections

 

           

Other phone numbers

 

         

Frequently Asked Questions

 



PROCESS


CANDIDATES/ISSUES

 


SECURITY

 

 

Poll Hours

Find Polling Place

Verifying Registration

I am not in the poll book, but I should be / improperly removed

ID

Moved

College voting

Changed Name

Absentee Voting

Track mail-in ballot

Are absentee ballots really counted?

Provisional Ballots

Paper Ballots

I voted absentee but changed my mind. How do I change my vote?

Felons' Voting Rights

Jailed persons' voting rights

On-line Voter Registration

Voting Assistance

Medical Emergency

Rides to Polls

What is on the ballot?

Write-in candidates

How do I write someone in?

How can I learn more about candidates & issues?

What are Educational Service Centers?

Judicial Candidate Information

Do I have to vote for the same party I voted for in the primary?

How do I change my party affiliation?

Can I photograph my ballot?

 

How do I know the election is not rigged?

What is the No Campaigning area? What are the flags for?

Who is allowed to "observe"?

Someone was acting inappropriately or trying to intimidate

 

 

 

LEVIES, BONDS, AND MILLS

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Levy vs. Bond issue

What is a mill?

Different kinds of levies

Electoral College

Who are the candidates for President on the ballot in Ohio?

If I vote a provisional ballot in the wrong polling place, will my vote for President still count?

 

ABOUT THE LEAGUE

 

 

LWV Nonpartisan Policy

Can I join the League?

 

 

 



Poll Hours

6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Anyone in line to vote at 7:30 is permitted to vote.

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Polling Place

§         On FRANKLIN County Board of Elections site, click on Voters on the top; then Voter Information Search, then Search by Address.

§         Enter house number, street name, zip code, and hit search.

§         You can access polling place location, map, and sample ballot.

 

Example:  200 E. 7th Street

House number: 200

Street: Seventh (not E., not Street, not 7)

 

FRANKLIN  |  Delaware  |  Fairfield  |  Licking  |  Madison  |  Pickaway  |  Union

 

Directory of all Boards of Elections

 

Note: The process differs on different counties' websites.  Check "Boards of Elections Cheat Sheet" in your training materials.

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Verifying Registration

 

§         On FRANKLIN County Board of Elections site, click on Voters, then My Registration.

§         Enter first name, last name, house number, and birth year, and hit the login button.

§         If the person is registered at that address, their name will come up, and you can access a sample ballot and their polling place.

 

Note: The process differs on different counties' websites.  Check "Boards of Elections Cheat Sheet" in your training materials.

 

FRANKLIN  |  Delaware  |  Fairfield  |  Licking  |  Madison  |  Pickaway  |  Union

 

Directory of all Boards of Elections

 

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I am not in the poll book, but I should be / improperly removed

Make sure you are in the right polling place, then vote a provisional ballot.

 

Tomorrow, contact the Board of Elections and talk to them about it.

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ID

 

For more details, see poll worker training manual, starting on
p. 90.

Acceptable IDs:

§         An Ohio driver’s license or state ID card. The card must be current (not expired), but it can have an old address.

§         A U.S. Military ID with your name and photo (address not required).

§         A government ID with your name, current address, and photo.

§         An original or copy of one of the following current documents that shows your name and current address:  utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, pay stub, college/university document, government check, or other government document. The document must have a date within one year of Election Day to be accepted as current. This must be a paper bill; you can't just show a picture of it on your phone.

§         College documents: An ID that has the correct name and current address of the voter, as it appears in the poll book, and is no more than one year old. Other college documents count as "government documents" if they come from a a public college, whether or not in Ohio, such as letters, grade reports, transcripts, etc.

§         Ohio Hunting/Fishing License

§         A speeding ticket.

§         Ohio License to Carry a Concealed Handgun, if it is less than 1 year old.

§         If you do not have any of the above, you may use the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. You will have to vote a provisional ballot, but it will be counted so long as the number matches your voter registration.

 

NOT acceptable IDs:

§         Driver's license or photo ID issued by a state other than Ohio.

§         Social Security card (although the last 4 digits only can be used on provisional or absentee ballot)

§         Birth certificate

§         Passport

§         Any registration notice or document from the Board of Elections.

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Moved

 

There's a flow chart on p. 108 of the poll worker training manual.

 

Within Ohio:   Always vote at the polling place for your new/current address.  If you were registered in Ohio and moved, either within the county or to a different county, and if you re-registered at your new address by October 10, you vote a regular ballot at your new precinct.

If you moved within your same voting location (e.g.,  from one apartment to another within the same building) and your ID is good, vote a regular ballot but fill out a change of address form.

If you moved to a  new precinct but did NOT re-register at your new address, you will vote a provisional ballot at your new precinct.  You will also be given a change of address form, so you'll be all set for next time.

This includes students at Ohio colleges who are registered to vote in Ohio.

If the student is registered but did not request an absentee ballot to vote at home, he or she can vote a provisional ballot at their new polling place and fill out a change of address form. This will change their permanent address to their address at school.  If the student moves next year, s/he will need to update their voter registration again.

Moved from a different state?  You must have registered to vote in Ohio by the deadline to vote here (30 days prior to the election).

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Changed Name

 

 

If you have changed your name, but forgot to update your voter registration, you can vote a regular ballot this time, but ONLY IF you bring in legal proof of your name change (such as a marriage license or court order), as well as another form of ID that shows your current address. The election official will help you fill out a "change of name" form, and you'll be all set for the next election.  If you don't bring legal documentation, you'll vote a provisional ballot.

 

If you also moved to a different address, see instructions above, under MOVED.  You will have to vote a provisional ballot, even if you moved within the same precinct, because you also changed your name.

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Absentee Voting

 

 

The deadline to request an absentee ballot was Saturday at noon.  If you already have applied for an absentee ballot, your voted ballot must be received by your Board of Elections before 7:30 tonight. It is too late to mail it. (Must be postmarked the day before the election.)

 

Take your ballot to the Board office, NOT to a polling place.  The Franklin County Board of Elections is at 1700 Morse Road, just east of Karl Road.  This is where early voting has taken place for the last several years.  Before that, it was a Kohl's store.

 

If you requested an absentee ballot but did not receive it or did not return it, you may vote a provisional ballot at your polling place. It will be counted if the Board has not received your voted absentee ballot.

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Track mail-in ballot

In Franklin County, you can track the progress of your absentee ballot.  Click "Track my ballot" on the Absentee Voting page of the Board of Elections site.

 

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Are absentee ballots really counted?

Yes. They are the first ballots counted after the polls close at 7:30.  In fact, when you hear news reports with projections of the results soon after the polls close with "zero precincts reporting," it is the early and absentee ballots that are being reported. Absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day (postmarked the day before the election) and authenticated provisional ballots are counted and included in the final vote tally that is announced 10 days after the election.

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Provisional Ballots

 

 

 

Provisional ballots are paper ballots a person may be required to use to vote – instead of getting to vote on the machines – if there is some question about the voter's identity.

 

The main reasons you'd have to vote provisionally are:

  • you don't have proper ID,
  • you haven't changed your address (but you're in the right polling place), or
  • you requested an absentee ballot but decided to vote at your polling place instead.

 

A provisional ballot has all the candidates and issues that you would vote if you were using the machines.  There is also identification information that the voter MUST fill out completely and sign. 

 

Once the Board of Elections processes the information provided, and it knows that you are registered and in the right polling place, the vote is counted.  This is one of the reasons why election results are not official until 10 days after an election.

 

If a provisional voter has no ID and refuses to add the last 4 digits of their SS number to the required paperwork, they have 7 days to bring a good ID to the Board of Elections. Otherwise their provisional ballot can not be counted.

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Paper Ballots

 

Anybody who doesn't want to vote on the machines can request a paper regular ballot instead.  If the lines are too long, or if there is a problem with the machines, voters must be reminded that they can vote on paper ballots.

 

The difference between paper and provisional ballots is that paper ballots go directly into the secure box of voted ballots that get counted right away.  Provisional ballots are set aside until the voter's eligibility can be confirmed.

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I voted absentee but changed my mind. How do I change my vote?

You cannot change your vote once it has been cast.

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Felons' Voting Rights

Felons can vote in Ohio, if they are no longer in prison and are registered to vote.  An otherwise qualified person convicted of a felony may register and vote while on probation or parole or after completing his or her prison sentence.

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Jailed persons' voting rights

Many people mistakenly believe they lose their right to vote while they are detained in jail or while they are awaiting trial. Anyone who is a resident of Ohio, not detained for a felony and meets other eligibility requirements can vote. This includes the thousands of Ohio residents currently detained in one of 72 county jails and who have not yet been convicted of a felony. Call the ACLU of Ohio for assistance: (216) 472-2200.

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Can I register to vote on line?

It's too late to register to vote in today's election.  But, yes, you can register online on the Ohio Secretary of State's website:  https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/register/#gref

You may vote in the next election so long as you register not less than 30 days prior to that election.

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Voting Assistance

 

Any voter may have help in voting, if they want it, from two poll workers of different parties OR from a person of the voter's choice, except their employer or labor union officer. 

If the voter's assistant/s physically touch the screen or the paper (i.e., they don't just talk to the voter) then the assistant/s must sign a form saying that they helped to the best of their ability and that they will not disclose how the voter voted.

Voting machines have adaptations so voters with disabilities can vote a secret ballot. Voting machines also have an audible ballot option for people with visual impairments.  (The poll workers will explain how to use the machine).

Curbside voting allows a voter who is unable to access to polling location to vote a paper ballot from his or her vehicle.  The voter has the driver or another person go into the polling place and alert the poll workers that they need to vote curbside.  Two pollworkers, one from each major part, will come out and work with the voter.

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Medical Emergency 

The voter must be hospitalized or have a minor child who is hospitalized.  The procedure is complicated: 

 

The voter fills out and signs a Hospitalized Absentee Ballot Request Form (available from hospital social workers or by calling the Board of Elections). The form must be received by the Board of Elections by 3 p.m. on Election Day.

 

The Board will send 2 poll workers (D and R) to the hospital to assist the voter. The poll workers deliver the voted ballots to the Board of Elections, where they will be counted, even if they arrive after the polls have closed. Or the voter can ask the Board to give your unmarked ballot to a designated family member who will deliver it to the voter in the hospital and return it to the Board of Elections.

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What is on the ballot?

This is a local election year.  Voters will be choosing:

  • County Municipal Court Judges
  • members of city or village council or township trustees
  • members of local boards of education
  • members of Educational Service Center
  • in Lithopolis, the mayor
  • in Columbus, Bexley, Reynoldsburg, and Whitehall, the city auditor

 

In addition, there are several ballot issues:

STATE ISSUE 1: Crime Victims Rights Constitutional Amendment details

STATE ISSUE 2: A change to Ohio law that would require state agencies to pay no more for prescription drugs than is paid by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs  details

 

FRANKLIN COUNTY ISSUE 4: A renewal levy for the Franklin County Board of Development Disabilities details

- Charter amendments in Grove City and Reynoldsburg

- A real estate purchase issue in Minerva Park

- A school levy in New Albany

- A school levy and bond issue in Upper Arlington

- and several police and fire levies and local liquor options

 

Each voter's sample ballot can be found on their county Board of Elections web page.

 

[Not on the ballot this year: Governor, Senator, redistricting issue, marijuana.]

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Write-in candidates

Only official write-in candidates will be counted.  The names of write-in candidates do not appear on the ballot. Instead, a list of all valid write-in candidates must be available at each polling place for review by a voter upon the voter’s request.

 

FRANKLIN  |  Delaware  |  Fairfield  |  Licking  |  Madison  |  Pickaway  |  Union

 

Directory of all Boards of Elections

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How do I write someone in?

On a paper ballot, there will be a space to write in a candidate.

 

On the machines: If there are registered write-in candidates for an office, a "Write In " button will appear on the screen, and you can write in your candidate:

 

  1. Press the "Write In" button for a particular office.
  2. A pop-up keyboard will appear on the screen.
  3. Type in the candidate's name and press "Accept."
  4. When you return to the ballot, you will see that the write-in name has been recorded and added to the list of other candidates. (Only the first four letters typed in will appear on the screen.)
  5. After making all other selections, you cast and confirm your vote.

If there are no registered write-ins for an office, the "Write In" button will not appear for that office.

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How can I learn more about candidates & issues?

Look for the League's Voter Information Bulletin in libraries or our web site www.lwvcols.org. Click on Voting, then Candidates & Issues, then Voter Information Bulletin.

http://www.Vote411.org

Making selections on Vote411 is NOT VOTING. There is no way to vote via computer or phone in Ohio.

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Judicial Candidate Information

Judicial Votes Count is a new website from the League of Women Voters and its partners. It has good information about judicial offices and candidates.

 

www.judicialvotescount.org, then click on "Who's Running for Judge?"

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What are Educational Service Centers?

ESCs are large-scale service providers offering administrative, academic, fiscal, and operational support services to Ohio’s school districts, chartered nonpublic schools, community schools, and STEM schools.  ESCs are governed by elected boards of directors.

Every district with enrollment of 16,000 students (ADM) or fewer is required to be aligned to an ESC. Larger districts may choose to align with an ESC.  ESCs started out as county boards of education, but now any school district can align with any ESC in the state.

Some services provided by ESCs include special education services, professional development training, bus driver certification, Youth at the Booth, and more.

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Do I have to vote for the same party I voted for in the primary?

No. You are free to vote however you want to in the General Election.

 

Also, you do not need to have voted in the Primary to vote in the General Election.

 

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How do I change my party affiliation?

Selecting/changing your party happens only at Primary Elections. At a Primary, you are asked which kind of ballot you want: Republican, Democratic, or Issues Only. (Sometimes there are also third party ballots available.)  You may choose any ballot at a primary election.

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Can I take a photo of my ballot?

No. It's against the law to take a picture of your ballot. This is to ward against someone intimidating/paying a voter to vote a certain way and demanding proof of that vote. 

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What's the difference between a levy and a bond issue?

A ballot issue with a levy is a request for funds to be raised immediately by taxing the value of property.  In Franklin County, levies are used to provide funds for schools, COTA, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, Franklin County Children Services, Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, etc.  Levies are expressed in "mills," or the percentage of property value to be taxed.

 

A ballot issue with a bond issue is a request for permission to essentially take out a loan to pay for capital improvements (buildings, roads, other infrastructure, etc.).  The money is received up front from the sale of bonds to investors and paid back by the taxpayers, with interest, over time.  Although bonds end up costing more, they also spread out the costs to people in the future who will be the users of the new school or bridge.  Ballot issues are expressed in the total dollar amount to be borrowed.

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What is a mill?

Millage is a way to express property tax rates.

 

A mill is equal to 1/1000th of a dollar.  The taxable value of property in Ohio is 35% of the value as appraised by the county auditor.  So, if you see a ballot issue asking for a 2 mill levy, and your house is worth $100,000 (according to the county auditor, not your realtor), the tax being asked for is:

 

$100,000 (value of your house) x .35 (to find the taxable value) x .0002 (which is 2 one-thousandths of a dollar) = $7 per year.

 

Some counties have slick calculators where you look by school district or plug in your address:

Franklin Co.: http://apps.franklincountyauditor.com/LevyEstimator

Delaware Co: http://delaware-auditor-ohio.manatron.com/TaxEstimatorSite.aspx

 

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New, Renewal, or Replacement levies

New levies are just that: a new property tax.

 

A renewal levy means that the tax you owe for this levy will remain the same, even if your property value has increased since the last time this levy was enacted.

 

A replacement levy may sound the same, but it will almost always cost more.  Many times, a replacement levy will ask for a higher levy amount.  However, even if it asks for the exact same millage as the expiring levy it replaces, it will likely cost more because it will be based on the (almost always) increased value of your property since the last time the levy was enacted.

 

So, a ballot issue that renews a 2 mill levy from the year 2010, when your home was worth $100,000, will cost pretty much the same as it did in the year 2010, even if your house is now worth $200,000.  If the agency asks for a 2 mill replacement levy, it will cost more because it is based on your property now being worth $200,000.

 

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How do I know the election is not rigged?

Ohio’s election system has many layers of protection, so voters can be confident of a fair and accurate election.

§         Paper trail: Ohio law requires that every ballot must have a paper record that can be hand-counted and audited. All votes are cast either on (1) a paper ballot that can be scanned and later audited, or (2) a touch-screen machine with a visible paper record that the voter can check for accuracy and that can be hand-counted during an audit. None of the voting machines is connected to the internet.

§         Names rotate on ballots: Ohio law requires candidate names to rotate position on the ballot with each precinct. That means the name on the top varies from precinct to precinct, making it more difficult to “rig” results.

§         Written Election Administration Plans: Every county Board of Elections is required to prepare in advance a written Election Administration Plan that documents how they will handle all aspects of the election and which is subject to public scrutiny and feedback.

§         Require bipartisan teamwork: All aspects of Ohio election administration are conducted by a Republican and Democrat working together in equal numbers to ensure one does not have an advantage over the other:

o       Polling places must be staffed by an equal number of Democratic and Republican poll workers.

o       At the end of Election Day, a bipartisan team of poll workers must count how many ballots were cast for each candidate at their polling location, sign the tally and post it outside the polling location where the public can see it.

o       Then a bipartisan team of poll workers delivers ballots back to the Board of Elections to be counted.

o       Once ballots have been counted on election night, they are locked up in a room with two locks until the final count ten days after Election Day. One key is kept by the BOE director and the other by the deputy director, who must be of different parties.

§         Mandatory post-election audit: Ohio conducts a post-election audit, in which randomly chosen races are subject to a statewide recount of ballots by hand, to ensure that the hand-count matches the reported official results.

§         Recount rules: In addition to the mandatory post-election audit, Ohio law also provides for a mandatory recount in extremely close elections where a local candidate wins by one-half of a percent or a statewide candidate wins by one-fourth of a percent, as well as a discretionary recount if requested and paid for by the losing party.

§         If you see a problem, report it! We don’t expect voters to encounter problems, but, if you do, report it right away. Report it to a poll worker or your Board of Elections, or call the County Sheriff's office.

 

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What is the No Campaigning area? What are the flags for?

 

 

No electioneering/campaigning is allowed within 100 feet of the voting location. Flags are typically placed outside the voting location at the 100-foot mark. Electioneering includes wearing/displaying t-shirts, hats, buttons, campaign literature. It also includes discussions of a political nature in the polling location.

 

More details can be found in poll worker manual on page 48.

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Who is allowed to "observe"?

 

 

Official observers (those allowed inside the polling places) must be registered Ohio voters and certified by a party and must take an oath agreeing to abide by the rules.

 

State rules bar “impeding, interfering with, or disrupting the election in some manner” or “intimidating, harassing, or attempting to influence voters or precinct election officials.”

 

The regulations stress: “Observers may not serve as enforcers of the laws nor act as advocates for voters before the precinct election officials.”

 

Observers may not challenge a person's right to vote. A voter may be challenged only by a precinct election official or the voting location manager and only for certain reasons.

 

More details can be found in poll worker manual on page 45.

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Someone was acting inappropriately or trying to intimidate

1) Speak to the poll worker called the Voting Location Manager or Presiding Judge


2) Call your county sheriff

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LWV Nonpartisan Policy

The League of Women Voters is nonpartisan. We never support or oppose political parties or candidates.

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Can I join the League?

Yes! The League is open to all men and women.  You can join online at www.lwvcols.org.  Or give us your name, phone number, street address, and email, and someone will contact you soon.

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Electoral College

The number of Electoral College votes each state has is equal to its number of US Senators (always 2) plus its number of representatives to Congress (which is determined by population).  So, the fewest EC votes a state can have is 3. 

Ohio has 18, putting it just behind California-55, Texas-38, New York-29, Florida-29, and Pennsylvania-20. 

All but two states are winner-take-all, meaning the candidate who gets the most votes in a state earns all that state's EC votes.  Maine and Nebraska apportion their EC votes differently.  The winner in each congressional district earns an EC vote, plus the winner of the popular vote in the state earns the other two EC votes. 

The magic number needed to win the presidency is 270 Electoral College votes.

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Who are the candidates for president on the ballot in Ohio?

NA

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If I vote a provisional ballot in the wrong polling place, will my vote for President still count?

No. The poll workers are instructed to direct the voter to the proper polling location.

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IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

 

FRANKLIN COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

1700 Morse Road, just east of Karl Road          

614-525-3100

 

SECRETARY OF STATE

614-466-2585 (Elections Division)

 

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

614-837-1089 Columbus LWVMC

614-469-1505 LWVOhio

www.Vote411.org

 

CHANNEL 10 PHONE BANK

614-469-10TV   (614-469-1088)

Or toll free at 1-855-746-10TV

 

RIDES TO THE POLLS

We don't know of anyone in particular giving rides. Try calling your local party headquarters

Franklin County Ds: 614-221-6563

Franklin County Rs: 614-224-3939

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