By DK Wright


Tuesday, May 2 is primary election day in Ohio, but at least in the upper Ohio Valley, it’s a small event.

In Belmont County, there are no contested candidate races, and only a few issues.

So only 17 precincts out of the 70 will be open.

But there’s something voters need to be aware of, before heading to the polls.

Voter ID requirements have changed dramatically.

In the past, anyone who didn’t have a driver’s license could show a utility bill, a bank statement or a pay stub as proof of identity.

Now, even if you’re a long-time registered voter, if you don’t have a driver’s license, you’ll need either a state ID card, a passport or a military ID in order to vote.

“If you don’t have acceptable forms of identification on Election Day or during early voting, you can vote provisionally,” said Aaron Moore, Belmont County Election Board director. “But that still requires that you show us a valid form of identification. You have four days after the election to provide us that valid form of identification. With the new laws changing, you can go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and get a state-issued identification card.”

In Belmont County, there are BMV offices in Bridgeport and Barnesville.

They say it’s unlikely that the BMV will be able to get your state ID card ready for you in four days.

But they can give you an “interim documentation” that you can take back to the election board.

And there’s another change.

They’ve stopped allowing early voting on the day before the election.

So you won’t be able to vote on Monday, May 1.

But the weekend leading up to that, they’ll be open Saturday 8-4, and Sunday 1-5.