TOLEDO, Ohio — Early voting is underway in Ohio. Before you head to the polls, there are some things you need to know. WTOL 11 asked the Lucas County Board of Elections questions to help you avoid potential problems at the polls.
Is it OK to take selfie shots of your ballot during or after voting?
"No, it is not legal. While we are not going to call the police on you, it can be disruptive to voters," explains Lucas County Board of Elections deputy director Timothy Monaco. "At the early vote center, we provide a selfie wall to take your picture. We also recommend taking a photo of your sticker on Election Day instead."
In Michigan, you can take a picture of your own ballot, with certain caveats, after a 2019 "ballot selfie" lawsuit settlement by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
Under the settlement, voters will be allowed to take a photograph of their own ballot, but only while in the voting booth. The agreement doesn’t affect other prohibitions on photography in the area where voting is occurring or sharing ballot images within 100 feet from the polling place.
Is it OK to take a picture of myself or my friend voting?
"While exceptions for the media are allowed, congregating in a polling place, or attempting to disrupt the voting process, is not allowed. This most likely would stop someone from taking a photo of a friend in a polling location, as once you have completed voting you are to exit the location so as not to disrupt the other voters," Monaco writes.
Can I wear a campaign logo, shirt or carry other signs of support when I go to vote?
Monaco replied, "You cannot wear political paraphernalia inside the polling location. Electioneering (including, hats, T-shirts, buttons) is prohibited inside 100 feet of the entrance to the location."
And according to the Michigan Secretary of State's Office, Michigan voters also cannot wear election-related clothing to the polls.
"Michigan has prohibited the practice of displaying election-related materials at the polls for decades. This includes clothing and buttons, as well as materials such as pamphlets, fliers and stickers," the secretary of state's website states. "You cannot display such items in the polling place or within 100 feet of an entrance to a polling place. If you go to the polls with a shirt or button bearing election-related images or slogans, you will be asked to cover or remove it.
Can businesses offer discounts for showing off that "I Voted" sticker?
"It is illegal to offer any incentive for voting. Whether or not this rises to that level is up to the prosecutor. We do not govern this," explains Monaco.
Can my child come with me to vote?
Monaco says, "Yes, children are allowed. It is a good way to show them the importance of voting and the voting process. Please, however, remember to be respectful to those around you."
If I have my CCW, can I bring my gun with me to vote?
"The vast majority of our polling locations are located in churches, schools, and government-owned buildings. It is illegal to carry a weapon inside those areas," according to Monaco.
RELATED: New CCW laws in Ohio go into effect
Can I write in a random name?
"A voter is allowed to vote any way they see fit. However, only approved write-ins are counted."
What if I change my mind after I cast my ballot?
"Once a ballot is cast, it is final."
What if something seems wrong when I'm voting?
"Immediately alert the POE (Precinct Election Officials)/Early Vote employee. They will follow the proper steps."