Author: Katrice Williams, Author at ACLU of Ohio

  • 09.25.17

    Going Beyond the Historic Right to Vote

    National Voter Registration Day, celebrated on Tuesday, September 26, is a national holiday that focuses on the importance of voter registration. Organizations and community groups across the country will come together to hold public events, educational workshops, and registration drives. The task before them, however, might be larger than expected due to the rising amounts of voter apathy and voter fatigue in the U.S.

  • 09.14.17

    Ohio’s New Online Voter Registration: Expanding Access to the Ballot Box

    After years of lobbying and activism from voting rights organizations, Ohioans can finally register to vote online. This opportunity was not available prior to January 1, 2017, but now that it’s here, it’s sure to increase the number of people who can register.

  • 07.18.17

    A “How-To” Guide for Activists Registering Jailed Voters

    Many Ohioans are misinformed about Ohio’s voting laws including who is eligible to vote with a criminal record. These myths are most common among jail officials, local election authorities and in communities with a high population of persons returning from prison.

  • 07.17.17

    National Disability Voter Registration Week, July 17-21

    Every year thousands of Ohioans with disabilities are turned away from polling precincts or dismissed at voter registration drives. Often, this is a result of stereotypes regarding their competence or intelligence.

    Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements for voting can cast a ballot.

  • 05.25.17

    Ken Blackwell’s “Greatest” Hits: Voting Edition

    Voters casting ballots

    President Trump has created an “election integrity” commission to investigate voter fraud and voter suppression in the United States. Serving as the commission’s chair and vice chair are Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, respectively, with former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell serving as well.

  • 05.24.17

    Keep Cleveland’s Consent Decree Moving Forward

    Police car's siren

    As the two-year anniversary of Cleveland’s second consent decree approaches, many residents are worried that the Cleveland Division of Police will adopt Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “law and order” attitude. Mr. Sessions champions loosening restrictions on police. That “law and order” attitude will likely only be used against civilians and not the law enforcement officers who have been tasked to protect them.

  • 02.10.17

    Packing Prisons Hurts All Ohioans

    Drugs and handcuffs

    On Friday, January 27, ACLU of Ohio senior policy director Mike Brickner spoke to participants at a symposium on criminal justice reform, which was held at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Brickner touched on a familiar but too often ignored problem: Ohio’s growing prison population.

  • 01.04.17

    Hopelessly Broken: End Capital Punishment

    Gavel and stethoscope

    As part of our “tough on crime” mentality, many elected officials and members of the public have supported the belief  that people convicted of serious violent crimes are deserving of death, yet few of us look beyond the crime to see how these sentences are handed down.

  • 11.30.16

    Citizens Influencing Constitutional Law

    United States Constitution

    In modern America’s contentious political climate, we often hear about “activist judges” writing laws from the bench. The Supreme Court, consisting of nine judges who are appointed by the President and Congress for life, may seem far removed from the populist democracy created by the founders, and while voters appear to have very little say in how the Supreme Court decides cases, David Cole’s book Engines of Liberty: the Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law shows that community members have great influence over Constitutional law, even before an stately body such as the Supreme Court.

  • 10.03.16

    Don’t Get it Twisted—A Conviction Cannot Stop You from Voting

    Tele-Town Hall - September 2016

    The ACLU of Ohio held a voting rights tele-town hall meeting on Tuesday, September 27 as part of National Voter Registration Day.

    Our town hall meeting was moderated by activist and media personality Basheer Jones, and featured panelists Crystal Bryant, co-director and partner at Cleveland VOTES, and Katrice Williams, policy associate at the ACLU of Ohio.

  • 09.23.16

    Don’t be Fooled, Presidential Debates only Show a Sliver

    Kennedy Nixon Debate

    The first 2016 American presidential debate is sure to spark angst and ire from the two major political parties. Both sides are eager to prove why the other is uninformed, unqualified and unfit for the presidency, vilifying large swaths of Americans.

  • 09.21.16

    ACLU Announces New Webpage for Deaf Voters

    Voting sign at the polls

    Imagine showing up to your local polling place and you are not sure of the rules around how to cast your ballot. You ask for assistance from poll workers, but none of them can speak your language or communicate easily with you.

  • 08.26.16

    Who’s Really Eligible to Vote?

    Handcuffs at the ballot box

    Many Americans believe a felony or other criminal conviction prevents you from voting. In reality, it depends on the state.

    The patchwork of state laws feeds the myth that people with criminal records cannot vote. This lack of consistency in state laws makes it confusing for returning citizens.

  • 08.12.16

    Voting Local Has A Big Impact On Issues You Care About

    Vote Road Sign 16

    The last days of July marked the end to both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have risen as their parties’ presidential nominees for November’s general election.

    But limiting November’s general election to just the presidential race is short-sighted, especially given the open seats in the U.S.

  • 08.02.16

    Voter Suppression Undermines Democracy

    Let Me Vote

    Voting is a sacred American value. It gives each citizen their say in a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” While we may not agree on values or even the means to achieve shared objectives, we can agree that every eligible voter deserves unimpeded access to the ballot.

  • 07.13.16

    RNC Protests Reflect Fundamental American Values

    freedom of speech

    For many Clevelanders, the Republican National Convention will be the first time they witness a major political event of this kind. The last time Cleveland hosted the RNC was in June 1936. The RNC will also be an outstanding opportunity for residents to join one of the greatest cornerstones of the American democratic process, watching the presumed Republican nominee, Donald Trump, become one of the nation’s presidential candidates.