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Your Guide to the Issue 2 Election Day: Where to Vote, What Else is on the Ballot and What it All Means

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 5:00 AM

Vox Efx / Flickr

Today is the day to cast your ballot on Issue 2 and on two other state issues and hundreds of local races and issues, if you haven't already voted during the early voting period. Here's StateImpact Ohio's guide on where to vote, what's on the ballot and what it all means.

Check back later today for more on what's happening at the polls or follow us on Twitter, and check this evening for election results and analysis. You can also hear reporters Ida Lieszkovszky and Molly Bloom during WCPN 90.3's and WKSU 89.7's live election coverage.

Where do I vote?
On Election Day, if you're voting in person, you must vote at your precinct’s designated polling place. You can find your polling place through this tool on the Secretary of State's website. Still have questions? Contact your local board of election. If you're using an absentee ballot, separate rules apply.

When can I vote?
Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

What do I need to bring with me to vote?
Bring "acceptable identification" to verify your identity. This includes a current and valid driver's license or state ID; military identification; or a copy of a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill (including cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document -- other than a voter registration acknowledgement notification mailed by the board of elections. The ID's must show your name and current address (including from a public college or university). But even if you don't bring one of these documents, you can still vote using a provisional ballot.

What's on the ballot?

  • Issue 1, a referendum on a constitutional amendment to increase the maximum age at which a person can be elected or appointed judge from 70 to 75. A "yes" vote increases the maximum age. A "no" vote keeps the age limit as is.
  • Issue 2, a referendum on collective bargaining law Senate Bill 5. A "yes" vote allows the law to take effect. A "no" vote repeals it. Learn more about the Pros and Cons of Issue 2.
  • Issue 3, a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would bar any law compelling any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system. The amendment is aimed at keeping the national health care reform law from taking affect. A "yes" vote approves the amendment. (However, as long as the Supreme Court rules national health care reform constitutional, a "yes" vote would not keep the health-care overhaul from taking effect in Ohio.)  A "no" vote keeps the state constitution as is.
  • More than 180 school district tax and bond issues.
  • Elections for school board members, city, village and township officials and municipal court judges.
  • Tax issues to support libraries, police, road and fire departments and other local issues ranging from charter amendments to aggregation of natural gas prices.

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What happens if Issue 2 passes?

If Issue 2 passes, Senate Bill 5 takes effect. Although Gov. John Kasich signed it into law in March, the law's been on hold pending the outcome of today's election. Senate Bill 5 affects all public workers in Ohio, including — or perhaps especially — teachers. Learn more about the 15 Ways Issue 2 Would Affect Ohio Schools, Colleges and Universities.

With polls showing Issue 2 opponents in the lead, Issue 2's passage would represent an enormous defeat and upset for organized labor, and a victory for state and national Republican leaders.

What happens if Issue 2 fails?

If Issue 2 fails, Senate Bill 5 goes away -- for now. But leaders of the Ohio House say some elements could be resurrected as early as next year.

Coupled with recall efforts in Wiconsin after that state's governor, Scott Walker, signed a collective bargaining law, Issue 2's failure would suggest that Republican governors including Gov. Kasich overreached in attempts to curb the power of public employee unions and cut state costs. Issue 2's failure would also suggest that Democratic supporters are well-prepared for the 2012 presidential election. Ohio is expected to be a crucial battleground state in next year's contest.

What happens if my school issue passes?

The more than 180 school district issues on the ballot include property tax levies as well as income tax issues and bonds. Some of the issues introduce new taxes, while others renew or replace existing ones. Depending on the district, a successful school issue could allow a district to build a new school, renovate existing facilities, or avoid cutting classes, programs or transportation.

What happens if my school issue fails?

Depending on the district, a failed school issue could mean crowded classrooms, fewer class offerings, fewer bus routes and families paying more for extracurricular activities. For a smaller number of districts, passing a levy is the only way to avoid a state takeover of the district's finances.