Election 2020: How to hear directly from several candidates in forum this week

HAMILTON — Voters in southwest Ohio will get to hear directly from some of the candidates seeking office in November.

Miami University, the Journal-News and the League of Women Voters of Oxford are presenting a Meet the Candidates night presented in an open Zoom forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“This is a great opportunity for voters in the area to hear first hand from the candidates about what their plans are for in office," said John Forren, executive director for the Menard Center for Democracy and chair of Miami University’s Department of Justice & Community Studies in Hamilton.

ExploreFirst-day early voting in Butler County nearly triples previous record. What about the next 4 weeks?
ExploreButler County voting: Democrats see highest numbers since ’06, Republicans say they will come ‘out in force’

“It’s really a chance for the candidates to speak in their own words directly to voters. I think that’s useful for people to help make up their mind in who to support for the election," Forren said.

As of Friday, there were eight confirmed candidates who will be assigned a block of time. Candidates will have a conversation with a moderator, as well as make their pitch to voters.

“When candidates participate in local forums, they allow the voters to get to know them on a different level,” said Jenny Fisher, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Oxford. “These forums are a platform for civil discourse and an easy way for voters to get informed.”

Early voting in for the Nov. 3 general election started in Ohio last week.

More than 2,200 voters cast a ballot at the Butler County Board of Elections on Oct. 6, the first day of early voting, a record for the county since no-fault early voting began in 2006. The previous record was 810 in 2016.

ExploreElection 2020: Voters to see an 8th Congressional rematch in Nov. 3 general election
ExploreElection 2020: 4th Ohio Senate District candidates agree corruption should be out of politics

In addition to 2,200-plus voters casting in-person ballots at the elections office, nearly 53,000 absentee ballots were mailed to county voters on Oct. 6. Elections officials aren’t predicting this time a possible voter turnout for the November election given the overwhelming response for early voting, both at the elections office and by mail.

Candidates who have accepted the invitation to the Meet the Candidates night on Zoom include: Ohio 8th Congressional District candidates Vanessa Enoch and Isaac Reed, Butler County Treasurer Nancy Nix, Ohio 4th Senate District candidates Kathy Wyenandt and Ohio Rep. George Lang, Ohio 52nd House candidate Chuck Horn, Ohio 53rd House candidate Michelle Novak and Ohio 54th House candidate Morgan Showen.

Nix is the only unopposed candidate to speak on Tuesday.

Blocks of times for candidates will be announced at Journal-News.com as soon as they’re made available.

To access the open Zoom Meet the Candidates night, people are asked to register at tinyurl.com/ButlerCountyMeetTheCandidates.

ExploreElection 2020: 52nd West Chester residents vying for 52nd House seat house
ExploreElection 2020: Candidates agree that Nov. 3 election will impact 53rd House district, state for years to come


Count on the Journal-News for everything you need to know this election season.

We are the only news source covering all local candidates and issues on your ballot, and digging into a safe and accurate vote.


There are several times to vote ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3. Below are the early voting hours at every county board of elections in Ohio. The Butler County Board of Elections is at 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton:

  • Today through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 19-23: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 24: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Oct. 25: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 26-30: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 31: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Nov. 1: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Nov. 2: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office mailed 7.8 million absentee ballot request forms last month, and those forms are also accessible to download at VoteOhio.gov. The last day to request a ballot to be mailed is by noon on Oct. 31, though state and county election officials recommend requesting it by Oct. 27.

All mailed-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2, or hand-delivered to the board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Absentee ballots will not be accepted at polling locations.


There are several civic engagement events being presented with the support of Miami University. They can be accessed online, and include:

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday: A public town hall with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose where he will discuss the upcoming election in Ohio and answer questions posed by voters throughout southwestern Ohio. Registration required: https://miamioh.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_tNOwXa4ySv2ZCXsBySEJqg. Questions for Sec. LaRose may be submitted by email: MenardFamilyCenter@miamioh.edu.
  • 7 p.m. Oct. 19: Brian Stelter, chief media correspondent for CNN Worldwide and host of CNN’s weekly program Reliable Sources, will present the Menard Family Center’s Fall Lecture entitled “The Role of the Media in American Democracy.” Stelter is a former media reporter for the New York Times and executive producer of the recent HBO documentary “After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News.” His lecture will focus on the news media’s role in democratic governance and America’s longstanding commitment to freedom of the press. Registration required: https://miamioh.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BhttI51JQ0moJCtGojFBNQ
  • 11:40 a.m. Oct. 22: Sasha de Vogel from the University of Michigan will present a lecture entitled “The Limits of Repression,” which will examine recent events in Belarus and how those political developments reflect on that nation’s broader prospects for democratization and political reform. This event is co-sponsored by the Miami University Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies. Registration required: https://miamioh.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_iC7FF6xLTqyp0kjovPRs0w
  • 7 p.m. Oct. 26: “Pandemics in Historical Perspective” is an online panel discussion where experts from academia, government and community-based organizations will examine the current coronavirus pandemic and how past public health crises in America may inform how we respond today. Registration required: MiamiOH.edu/Regionals/Pandemics-in-History.
  • 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28: Political strategist and former DNC acting chair Donna Brazile and Joe Grogan, former U.S. Domestic Policy Council director, will speak about the 2020 elections. Registration required: https://miamioh.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_62QW8ScASPS4CY7VLaYTSA