Updated Apr 5, 2022 - Politics

Early voting begins in Ohio for 2022 primary election

"I Voted" stickers scattered on a table.
Early in-person voting is available at the Franklin County Board of Elections. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

Early voting starts today for the 2022 Ohio primary election.

Why it matters: Scheduled for May 3, the primary ballot features a combination of local issues and high-profile statewide races for governor and U.S. Senate that could shape our state's political leaning for years to come.

State of play: This election cycle has already seen its share of political mayhem thanks to a never-ending redistricting process that is still incomplete after eight months of mapmaking.

What to know: Ohio voters will not be voting for state legislative candidates in this election, as district maps for the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate are still up in the air.

Be smart: The state expects to conduct a separate election later this year for just those races. A date has not yet been determined.

  • Secretary of State Frank LaRose has estimated a second primary would cost the state up to $25 million.
  • Franklin County Board of Elections spokesman Aaron Sellers told WSYX the local cost alone would amount to "millions of dollars."

Meanwhile, the ballot will include congressional races despite a pending legal challenge against the GOP-drawn district map.

  • That's because the Ohio Supreme Court has decided to review the map after the May 3 primary date, per the Columbus Dispatch.

Details: In-person early voting takes place at the Franklin County Board of Elections office at 1700 Morse Road, Columbus.

  • Locations for other counties' early voting sites are available via the Secretary of State website.
  • Early voting is offered in all counties on weekdays from 8am-5pm for the next three weeks, with expanded hours and dates closer to Election Day.

Zoom in: Ohioans can also request an absentee ballot through their county elections board in order to vote by mail.

  • The deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot is May 1, but voters are generally encouraged to submit requests ASAP.
Some primary election highlights:

U.S. Senate: Devoted local viewers of "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" know from watching enough ad-packed commercial breaks that this is the marquee race of 2022.

Ohio Governor: Gov. Mike DeWine faces three Republican challengers in his re-election effort: farmer Joe Blystone and former lawmakers Ron Hood and Jim Renacci.

  • Two former mayors are squaring off on the Democratic side: Cincinnati's John Cranley and Dayton's Nan Whaley.
The new Ohio congressional district map in various shades.
The new congressional district map featured on the upcoming primary election ballot. Map courtesy the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

Congress: Franklin County is split into two congressional districts under the present map.

  • Only the 15th District has a contested primary, featuring Democrats Gary Josephson and Danny O'Connor, the county recorder.
  • This district represents Columbus' Hilltop, Franklinton and south side neighborhoods ā€” and some Arena District and German Village residences ā€” along with Hilliard, Dublin, Grove City, Groveport, Canal Winchester and Obetz.
  • We suggest checking this voter map to see if you reside in the 15th District.

Ohio Secretary of State: This is the only other statewide executive office with a contested primary.

  • Incumbent Frank LaRose faces Republican challenger John Adams, a former state lawmaker.

Some communities have local ballot issues:

  • Grandview Heights and Upper Arlington have renewal levies for their public libraries.
  • Whitehall, Franklin Twp. and Mifflin Twp. have levies for their police services.
  • Jefferson and Mifflin Twp. have levies for their fire services.
  • Licking Heights Local School District, which includes some Franklin County voters, has a bond issue to fund a new elementary school and other facilities.

Find your sample primary election ballot.

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