5 things Ohioans should know on Election Day

By The Associated Press

YOUR VOTE'S PIVOTAL: No Republican has reached the White House without winning Ohio, and the last Democrat to make it without Ohio was John F. Kennedy in 1960. Ohio is worth 18 electoral votes to the winner.

HOTTEST RACES: The presidential matchup, of course. Also hot is the contest between U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican challenger Josh Mandel, the state treasurer. In northeast Ohio, congressional incumbents Betty Sutton, a Democrat, and Jim Renacci, a Republican, are facing off in a newly converged district. Brown-Mandel and Sutton-Renacci have seen some of the heaviest advertising in the country.

MAP CHANGES: Speaking of new districts, there are many. The state's political maps were redrawn last year, so voters should not be surprised by unfamiliar names and district numbers in races for U.S. House, Ohio House and Ohio Senate.

ABSENTEE PROCRASTINATORS: There's still time to fill in that absentee ballot you never mailed. It can be turned in at your county board of elections up until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. If you requested a mail-in ballot, didn't turn it in and show up to the polls without it, you can still vote. But you'll be asked to vote a provisional ballot. Those don't get counted until Nov. 17 or after.

GOOD COMPANY: About 7.9 million Ohioans are currently registered to vote. Nearly 6.9 million absentee ballot applications were sent out to Ohio voters for the first time this fall election. Despite all the wrangling over early voting hours, the state's elections chief says there were 246 hours available to vote in person and 750 hours to vote by mail before Election Day.

__

The report was compiled by Associated Press writers Dan Sewell, Julie Carr Smyth and Ann Sanner.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.