To: Speaker Householder, Minority Leader Sykes, Senate President Obhof, Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, all members of the Ohio General Assembly
CC: Statehouse Press Corps
RE: Opposition to Senate Bill 294 and minimum acceptable steps to ensure every eligible Ohioan can successfully cast a ballot
From: ACLU of Ohio, All Voting is Local, Common Cause Ohio, Faith in Public Life, League of Women Voters of Ohio, Ohio A.
If you thought voting was confusing any other time than right now, coronavirus has most certainly beaten that standard by a long shot. With schools shutting down, polling locations changing last minute due to vulnerable population concerns, and the number of cases increasing daily, registered voters might be feeling panicked and wondering if you should even go out to vote.
Late last year, the Economics Policy Institute Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) released a new report which made something glaringly obvious: Ohio still has a major racism problem. The evidence is there in many glaring ways – for instance, Ohio is in the top ten states with the largest ratio between black and white unemployment; Dayton and Cleveland are two of the six metropolitan areas in which poverty among the black population exceeds 40%; and like many Midwestern states, Ohio also imprisons African Americans at more than five times the rate of white individuals.
Although Ohio is among the states hardest hit by the nationwide opioid epidemic—with the incarcerated population particularly at risk—numerous county jail authorities are failing to provide even the most basic medical care needed to blunt this ongoing crisis. This denial of treatment to people suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) is making it far more likely that Ohioans will remain captive to this disease—and even die of a drug overdose.
On Thursday, December 5, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose claimed 354 non-citizens either voted or were registered to vote last year, and he forwarded the names of those individuals to Attorney General Dave Yost for potential charges. Of the 354 reported, 77 of them cast ballots in 2018.
In 2008, President Barack Obama targeted Ohio youth when it came to gaining votes for the Democratic primary as he ran against Hillary Clinton. This, as it is obvious nearly a decade later, worked in his favor as he went on to serve for two terms as President.
For most people Halloween conjures up images of ghosts, monsters, and too much candy. For me, I’m taken back to a time I was growing my activist wings – even though I didn’t know it at the time.
When I was nine, I petitioned my own city council.
It’s Constitution Day! Okay – so we don’t get out of work or school today, nor do we get to barbeque our favorite foods or watch giant things go boom in the night sky, but is today any less important than Independence Day?
Our long-fought voter purge case – APRI v Husted – finally came to a favorable conclusion on August 29, 2019. Since it was long, here’s a brief history:
- We filed suit in early 2016 challenging Ohio’s practice of purging voters for failure to vote.
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court completely abdicated its judicial responsibility to ensure that the fundamentals of our democratic system — like fair elections — are strong and sound. It’s a sad day.
The Court’s broad 5-4 decision — instructing all federal courts to henceforth stay out of cases involving the most extreme partisan gerrymandering — is a gut-punch to all who insist that voters must choose their politicians, not the other way around.
By Emma Keeshin
Last Tuesday, March 26, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two partisan gerrymandering cases: one challenge to a Republican gerrymander in North Carolina, and one to a Democratic gerrymander in Maryland. It’s not a stretch to say that the Court’s upcoming decisions could help put an end to a particular brand of partisan abuse that has plagued our government for centuries.
On May 23, 2018, the ACLU of Ohio filed a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s Federal Congressional District maps.
- Who is lawsuit is brought against?
- The lawsuit is brought against Ohio Secretary of State John Husted, Ohio Senate Majority Leader Larry Obhof, and Interim House Speaker Ryan Smith.
Single-party control and fair map-drawing seem to go together about as well as peanut butter and trout. After all, is there anything more political than drawing the very lines that can keep politicians in power? This has been the central issue plaguing redistricting for generations.
The ACLU of Ohio neither supports nor opposes Issue 1. As discussed below, although Issue 1 has some features that could improve redistricting in our state, we believe that it does not provide comprehensive reform and could open the door for future partisan manipulation.
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.
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.
By Emma Keeshin
With so many candidates for Cleveland mayor and City Council this year, it can be hard to keep track of all of them. But something you must keep track of is their commitment to police reform in Cleveland.
That’s because Cleveland is in year two of a multi-year police reform process, known as the consent decree, which is overseen by a federal judge after the U.S.
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.
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.
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.
Following the November 2016 election, President Trump and his administration made claims that simply should not go unanswered, both because they are patently false and they pose a grave threat to our most cherished right to vote. The administration has repeatedly claimed that 3-5 million people illegally voted in that election, and have now launched a national investigation to look into it.
While many Americans may feel that they are left out of the political process, 45 percent of adults did not even vote in the 2016 presidential election. The number of adults that will not cast a ballot in non-presidential elections is even higher (63.6% in 2014).
People who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming (GNC) are expected to clarify, justify and apologize for their identity every day. For many, inappropriate personal questions are a daily reality. It’s no surprise then, to hear that these same dehumanizing hurdles have worked their way into our polling places.
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.
Last week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a serious blow to Ohio’s illegal and unfair practice of removing voters from the rolls simply because they have not voted for a few federal elections. The ACLU of Ohio and Demos challenged this process in court, and the Sixth Circuit Court decided that it violated federal law and must stop immediately.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.