Oct 21, 2022 - Politics

Midterm elections 2022: Voting in Ohio

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Election Day is Nov. 8 and Ohio's races could potentially impact the national political landscape.

Why it matters: Voters will decide on three Ohio Supreme Court seats that could potentially flip the court from red to blue, as well as between the first woman governor or an incumbent.

  • The winners will make consequential decisions about abortion, future elections and redistricting in our state.
  • And Ohio's neck-and-neck Senate race could help decide which party has the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Voting in metro Columbus

Due to unconstitutional statewide redistricting this year, your district might have changed.

📬 Vote by mail

Details: Request an absentee ballot by Nov. 5 at noon.

Of note: Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 7.

  • If placed in a drop box at your county's board of elections office, that deadline is 7:30pm on Nov. 8.
  • Track the status of your absentee ballot here.

☑️ Vote early, in person

Vote at your county's board of elections office through Nov. 7. Be sure to check its hours of operation before going.

🗳️ Vote on Election Day

Cast your ballot at your designated voting location on Election Day.

  • Polls are open from 6:30am-7:30pm on Nov. 8.

U.S. Senate: Tim Ryan (D) vs. J.D. Vance (R)

Photo illustration of Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance.
Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Gaelen Morse/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This open Senate seat could help decide which party controls Congress next year.

State of play: Tim Ryan, who has represented Ohio in Congress for nearly 20 years, is running against Trump-endorsed author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance.

  • Where they stand on the issues:


Ryan: The abortion-rights supporter believes it's a complex issue between a pregnant person and her doctor.

Vance: He has said that he's "100 percent pro-life." During the campaign, Vance called Sen. Lindsey Graham's proposed 15-week national abortion ban bill "totally reasonable," but also said he supports exceptions in certain situations.

Immigration and border security

Ryan: While Ryan supports reforming what he calls a "broken immigration system," he also wants to make it easier for anyone to legally immigrate to America.

Vance: He wants to finish the construction of the border wall, reform the legal immigration system and limit migration to America.

Go deeper: See where they stand on other issues.

Governor: Nan Whaley (D) vs. Mike DeWine (R)

Photo illustration of Nan Whaley, tinted blue, and Mike DeWine, tinted red, separated by a white halftone divider.
Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Justin Merriman, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrat Nan Whaley, the first woman to be on the ballot for governor in Ohio, is challenging incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine.

  • DeWine has been involved in politics for over 40 years as a state attorney general and U.S and state senator. Whaley was previously the mayor of Dayton.

State of play: There have been no gubernatorial debates because DeWine has declined invitations.

  • Where they stand on the issues:


Whaley: Running on the platform that Ohio's governor will be the last line of defense against abortion bans in the state, she is pro-abortion rights.

DeWine: He has been consistently avoiding questions about abortion, but did sign a law banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat — which can come as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — in 2019.

Gun safety and rights

Whaley: The mayor during the 2019 Dayton mass shooting, Whaley has pledged to fight for universal background checks and stricter gun safety laws while vowing to repeal any laws that jeopardize gun safety.

DeWine: As with abortion, he has evaded the subject, and there are no mentions of gun rights on his campaign website. DeWine did sign a law removing permits for concealed firearm carrying in March.

Ohio Supreme Court races

Illustration of a gavel with arrows and abstract shapes.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Three seats are on the ballot, and for the first time, party affiliations will be next to the candidates' names.

Chief Justice: Justices Jennifer Brunner (D) vs. Sharon Kennedy (R)

  • Former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner was elected to the court in 2020 after previously sitting on the Franklin County Common Pleas Court and the 10th District Court of Appeals.
  • Kennedy, a former police officer and judge on the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, joined the court in 2012 and was elected for a full term in 2014.

Judge Marilyn Zayas (D) vs. Justice Pat DeWine (R)

  • Zayas served on the First District Court of Appeals. Her website notes that she is "the first Latina judge elected to an Ohio Court of Appeals."
  • Gov. DeWine's son was elected to the court in 2016. He previously served on both the First District Court of Appeals and the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Terri Jamison (D) vs. Justice Pat Fischer (R)

  • Jamison previously served on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and the 10th District Court of Appeals.
  • Fischer was elected to the court in 2016 after practicing law for over 30 years.

Other statewide races

Attorney general: Jeff Crossman (D) vs. Dave Yost (R)

Why it matters: With abortion and redistricting at the forefront, the state's top lawyer represents Ohio before the state Supreme Court.

Details: Crossman was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2019. The incumbent Yost was elected in 2019 after serving as state auditor for eight years.

Auditor: Taylor Sappington (D) vs. Keith Faber (R)

Why it matters: The auditor oversees all public offices in the state and serves on the Ohio Redistricting Committee, helping to redraw election maps once a decade.

Details: Sappington is serving as Nelsonville City Auditor. The incumbent Faber was elected in 2019 after serving in the Ohio House from 2001-07 and the state Senate from 2007-17.

Secretary of State: Chelsea Clark (D) vs. Frank LaRose (R)

Why it matters: The Secretary of State oversees Ohio elections.

Details: Clark was elected to Forest Park City Council in 2017 after a career as a financial analyst and teacher. The incumbent LaRose was elected in 2019 after serving as a state senator from 2011-19.

Ballot measures: State Issues 1 and 2

Ohioans are voting on two constitutional amendments regarding bail reform and voting rights.

Issue 1 removes the Ohio Supreme Court's authority on determining bail and requires courts to consider public safety when setting it.

  • Voting "yes" means you want courts to consider a person's criminal record when setting bail.
  • Bail reform advocates are against it, while Yost and other prosecutors support it.

Issue 2 requires Ohioans to be at least 18 years old and registered to vote for at least 30 days before an election to vote.

  • Current state law lets communities expand local voting rights.
  • Voting "yes" means you support the law change so communities cannot expand voting rights locally.

Other local issues

Issue 19: It would close a loophole allowing residents to redirect taxpayer money into their own coffers with no oversight. If ratified, this would have stopped Issue 7, last November's self-dealing ballot initiative that the mayor called "the greatest scheme in city history."

Columbus' $1.5 billion bond package: This would fund new affordable housing projects and funnel money into the city's recreation and parks and public service and utilities.

Franklin County School levy roundup: School levies on Columbus area ballots are New Albany, Pickerington, Upper Arlington and Worthington.

What Ohioans care about: Jobs, taxes and wages

Illustration of a pattern of checkmarks that turn into question marks and vice versa, over a red and blue background with a pattern of ballot elements.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

With a lot at stake this election season — from the unclear future of abortion rights to the redistricted maps being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court — the issues Ohioans care most about are jobs, wages and taxes.

More midterm elections news from Axios:

Editor's note: This story was corrected to note that the deadline for a postmarked absentee ballot is Nov. 7, not Nov. 8. Additionally, the Franklin County School levy roundup was corrected to remove Columbus City Schools, which is not voting on a levy during the 2022 midterms.


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