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2022 Election Hub · May 18, 2023

About The August Special Election

Ohioans will head to the polls on August 8 to vote on the question of how hard it should be to amend the state constitution through the citizen initiative process unless a court steps in to stop it. The scheduling of a special election in August has been the subject of significant controversy. To understand why, we need to delve into the events that led us to this point. 

Last year, Ohio lawmakers passed legislation that eliminated elections in August, in all but two emergency scenarios – to fill a congressional vacancy or to seek a levy in a fiscal emergency. These changes were aimed at consolidating voting dates, saving taxpayer money and reducing strain on local Boards of Elections. However, more recently, lawmakers have changed course and have scheduled a statewide vote on August 8 on a proposal that would make it harder for citizens to amend Ohio’s constitution by initiative petition.

The timing and motives behind the August special election have raised eyebrows and sparked intense debate. It appears that some lawmakers are pushing for this election to happen in August, despite the law that eliminated such elections, in order to get ahead of a potential vote on abortion rights in November. Statehouse republicans are trying to manipulate the timeline in order to influence the outcome of important policy decisions best left to voters.

In response to the controversial nature of the August special election, a lawsuit has been filed challenging its legality. The lawsuit alleges that forcing this election to occur in August, contrary to the law that eliminated such elections, undermines the democratic process and infringes upon the rights of Ohio voters.

Key Dates

July 10 – Voter registration deadline

July 11 – Early voting begins

August 1 – Mail Ballot requests must be received

August 7 – Mail Ballots must be postmarked

August 8 – Election day

August 12 – Mail Ballots must be received

As the legal proceedings unfold, it is crucial for voters to stay informed about any updates regarding the special election. Sign up for our emails to stay up to date, but be prepared to cast your vote on August 8 and exercise your democratic rights. Your voice still matters, and your vote can shape the future of Ohio.

Tagged in these Policy Areas: 2023 Election Hub