CINCINNATI — The polls officially opened Tuesday for Ohio voters to have their say in a rare summer election. The special election is being held because of one constitutional issue.

It's an issue that has voters headed to cast their ballot despite having their own issues to make it there. 

What You Need To Know

  • Early voting started Tuesday with a small but constant crowd at the Hamilton County Board of Elections polling place

  • Voters are coming out to vote on Issue 1, which would change part of what's in the constitution 

  • One voter, still recovering from surgery, said it was important for her to make her vote count 

  • Early voting goes through Aug. 6
  • Election Day for the special election is on Aug. 8

Former teacher Gail Black-Reed doesn’t move around like she used to. She’s still recovering from heart and kidney surgery.

“I’m a double transplant patient, so it takes me a lot of time to get up,” said Black-Reed. 

That did not stop her from walking in to vote. 

“I think it's crucial. It's important enough that it's a must,” said Black-Reed.

There’s just one question that she’s voting on along with the rest of Ohio: Issue 1. 

If it passes, it means ballot initiatives to amend the constitution would need 60% of the vote to pass. Right now, it’s 50.01%.

“So many things are changing, so many rights are being taken away. It's important to vote for this election to preserve our constitutional rights,” said Black-Reed.

It’s a constitutional question keeping the Hamilton County Board of Elections office very busy.

“It’s very unusual to have a county-wide election in August. I say that we did have one last year, but that was a primary election. Primaries are a little different. There's a lot of voters who choose not to participate in political primaries," said Sherry Poland, Hamilton County Board of Elections director.

At this point, though, Poland said it is still too early to tell how many might actually show up for this election.

“We do think the turnout is going to be higher than what we saw last August, which unfortunately was only an 8% turnout. But as far as how high, it's really difficult to predict. You know, we might see anywhere from a 15% to even a 30% turnout,” said Poland.

With two more elections to run in November and next March, she said they’re going to need all the help that they can get.

That’s why Black-Reed said that she’s planning to volunteer too, but for now, she just wanted to make sure she got her vote in no matter what it takes to do it.

“Because of how important it is, I hope that we are voting ourselves and encouraging all the people we know to vote,” said Black-Reed. 

If you still need to cast your ballot, early voting will be going on all the way until Aug. 6. That's the Sunday before election day. Election Day for this special election will be on Aug. 8.