Prizm News / November 1, 2018 / By Prizm News

Come Out to Vote, a coalition of Ohio LGBTQ groups, has been hosting events to encourage voter turnout among LGBTQ people and allies. The group hosted a party outside the Franklin County early voting center on Oct. 11.

By Prizm News

A gay candidate for governor in Maryland spoke for a lot of LGBTQ Americans earlier this year when he kissed his husband in a TV ad, turned to the camera and said, “Take that, Trump!”

The president isn’t on the ballot this month, but in races across the country for Congress, governorships, state legislative seats and other offices, candidates are either courting his devotees or putting their opposition to his first two years in the White House front and center.


Here are some of the basics about the 2018 elections. Click here for all of Prizm’s political coverage from this election year.


Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Election days in Ohio, though, are Nov. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

You can vote in person before Election Day at designated voting locations—most often your county board of elections—in all 88 Ohio counties.

Voting hours are:

  • Thursday, Nov. 1 and Friday, Nov. 2 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 3 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 4 from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 5 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Neighborhood polling places are open from 6:30 a.m.- 7:30 p.m. on Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Visit to find your early-voting location or Nov. 6 polling place.


State law requires voters to show proof of identity with one of the following:

  • A current Ohio driver’s license or state ID card.
  • A military ID.
  • An unexpired federal- or state-issued photo ID with your name and current address.
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck with your name and present address.
  • Any other current government document with your name and current address.


The National Center for Transgender Equality has produced an Election Day checklist for trans voters. Although TransOhio Co-Chair Melissa Alexander tells us that the statewide advocacy group doesn’t get many reports of people being unduly questioned at the polls, it’s best to be prepared.

In short, you cannot be denied a ballot— or forced to vote provisionally, which is a ballot that’s not counted unless your eligibility can be verified—if your gender expression doesn’t match your ID photo, gender markers or the perceived gender of your legal name.

If poll workers ask unnecessary questions or if they question your right to vote, look for any volunteer attorneys at your polling place who are there helping voters. Or call the National Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (866 687-8683) for help.

Visit and click on the #votingwhiletrans link to read and print out the national center’s election-day checklist. There’s a section you can hand to poll workers if they have questions.


Tammy Baldwin
Christine Hallquist
Kate Brown
Jared Polis
Kyrsten Sinema
Lupe Valdez

Sharice Davids
Gina Ortiz Jones
Dana Nessel

Rick Neal


With more than 400 LGBTQ Americans running for office across the country, The New York Times has written about a potential “rainbow wave” on Nov. 6.

Here are 10 races to watch on Election Night:

• Wisconsin’sTammy Baldwin, a lesbian who became the first out LGBTQ U.S. senator six years ago, is up for re- election.

Christine Hallquist, the CEO of a consumer-owned electric utility, is the Democratic candidate for governor of Vermont. It’s the highest political office ever sought by an openly transgender American.

Kate Brown, the first openly bisexual and first out LGBTQ candidate elected governor in the United States, is seeking re-election in Oregon.

Jared Polis, an openly gay member of Congress, is running for governor of Colorado. He’d be the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States.

• The number of LGBTQ U.S. senators will double if Baldwin wins and openly bisexual Democrat Kyrsten Sinema wins in Arizona.

Lupe Valdez, a lesbian who has been elected four times as sheriff of Dallas County, is running for governor of Texas.

• Democrat Sharice Davids of Kansas is a lesbian who could become the first Native American woman elected to Congress.

• Davids and Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones of Texas could become the first out LGBTQ women of color elected to Congress.

• Out lesbian Dana Nessel, the lawyer who represented couples seeking marriage equality in Michigan, is running for attorney general of her state.

• Ohio could send its first out LGBTQ representative to Congress. Openly gay Democrat Rick Neal is challenging Republican Steve Stivers in the state’s 15th District.