The presidents, both current and prior, have told you how to vote. So have the vice presidents, current and prior — not to mention Ohio-born celebrities ranging from John Legend to Bernie Kosar to Martin Sheen.
Now it’s your turn, Ohioans.
With close races throughout the ballot, what you decide today will determine what you pay in taxes, who’s in charge of counting your vote, whether further abortion restrictions are approved or vetoed, how your schools get funded, who serves as the financial watchdog over your local government, whether penalties for drug possession are decreased — and perhaps which party controls the U.S. House.
The future is on the ballot today, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray likes to say.
Republican Mike DeWine often says what's at stake is "whether we go back or whether we go forward."
DeWine got an election eve boost Monday when Donald Trump came to Ohio and offered up a trio of political goodies: Effusive praise, condemnation of his opponent, and a few minutes at the microphone before cheering thousands at the I-X Center in southern Cleveland.
"Mike DeWine is going to be a great governor, and Richard Cordray is a bad person who will do a terrible job," Trump said.
In fact, Trump almost spent more time hyperbolically pounding Cordray than praising DeWine.
"I know his opponent. He’s a disaster. He’s a bad guy, not a good person. He’s hurt a lot of people. What he’s done to people is a disgrace," Trump said, apparently referring to Cordray's tenure heading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
"He’s a far-left radical socialist" who will not only plunge Ohio into poverty, but indeed will "destroy" the state, Trump said.
In an email to supporters, Cordray challenged the "empty name-calling" and "fact-free" accusations from Cleveland.
"Let’s send a message tomorrow to all of America that putting Ohio’s workers first, and elevating their interests above the corporate special interests is not 'radical' or 'socialist'—it’s the right thing to do. I wear their criticism as a badge of honor," Cordray said.
Cordray also tweeted that DeWine would be a "lapdog" governor to Trump.
During his talk in Cleveland, DeWine, employing the same dubious claim he's made in campaign ads, linked Cordray to former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and the 300,000-plus Ohio jobs lost during the Great Recession. Cordray was attorney general during the final two years of Strickland's administration.
At one point, Trump remarked, "In a sense I am on the ticket" in Tuesday's election.
"There is an electricity like people have not seen" since he was elected in 2016 — a few days after a rally in the same location. "What we’ve done is the greatest political movement of all time."
The day before Trump's appearance, DeWine was asked whether it would would be a net gain for his candidacy since he must appeal to voters beyond the GOP base to win.
"I think it’s going help the campaign, but, look, ultimately people are going to vote for Mike DeWine or Richard Cordray," DeWine said.
Jane Timken, chair of the Ohio Republican Party, said, "The president's visit energizes our base and gets our voters out, and it's a closing argument that our economy is booming in Ohio and it's because of Republican policies."
Trump chose Ohio for a rally not only because of the importance of Tuesday's vote, but also because he wants to ensure the nation's top bellwether state has a Republican governor and secretary of state when he seeks another term in 2020, Timken said.
During a gathering in a Whitehall union hall a couple of hours before Trump took the stage in Cleveland, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown agreed the president's Ohio visit held great significance.
"I think it signifies they are afraid and they want to change the topic," Brown said. "They want to change the subject away from health care and away from people's lives to issues that don't affect us directly."
Democrats are trying to take advantage of voter concerns about health care but emphasizing how Republicans such as DeWine tried to repeal Obamacare, which mandated insurance coverage of pre-existing medical conditions and allowed states to expand Medicaid, as Ohio has.
Cordray told union members at the United Food and Commercial Workers Local No. 1059, "We need to step into the future and not allow them to drag us back. Ohio is getting it."
Lee Saunders, a Cleveland native and president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, joined Cordray and Brown in rallying union members.
"This is the most important election in our lifetime," he roared. "Do all you can ... we are sick and tired of people trying to take our rights away."
The Ohio AFL-CIO unveiled new estimates indicating that roughly half of the union households that voted for Trump two years ago now say they are voting for Cordray and Brown. The numbers are based on union canvassers’ conversations with 15,283 union households that identified as Trump supporters. Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga says union members are energized for Tuesday's election more than anytime in recent memory.