2021 is a fresh start in many ways. It is the beginning of a new decade, the US appears to have turned the corner in the fight against COVID-19, and the current President’s twitter feed is pleasingly dull. History will mark the 2011-2020 era of American politics as plagued by polarization, during which we increasingly became the Divided States of America.
Between the COVID pandemic, the Black Lives Matter revolution, and the 2020 General Election (and the ensuing drama afterwards), 2020 has been quite the year! And that’s not even mentioning the multitude of other things that have happened, such as the heartbreaking loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Last week, Secretary of State Frank LaRose penned an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer titled Ohio is a model for how to run elections. The piece gives high praise to Ohio for how smoothly our election went, citing how fast we released our results on election night, the state’s impressive poll worker recruitment, and the convenience of our absentee ballot system.
By Dan Rogan
This originaly appeared on Cleveland.com on Nov. 1, 2020.
CLEVELAND — This is the first election in our lifetimes to occur during a global pandemic, and one in which an unprecedented number of voters will cast their ballots by mail.
If there is anything 2020 has shown us, it’s that things can become extremely unpredictable – and very quickly. If you’re planning on voting on Election Day, you might be particularly wary of this unpredictability, especially since we saw primary polling places change rapidly with just days left to vote, and then in-person voting being cancelled completely on the originally scheduled Primary Election Day March 17, 2020.
Click image to download our virtual program for the 2020 Ed and Belle Likover Lecture: At-Home Comedy, Cocktails & Coversation.
I voted by mail for the first time in the April 2020 Primary due to COVID19. Prior to that, I’ve always taken great pride to vote in person. To me, it was the least I could do to honor the legacy of the fight for African Americans to have the right to vote.
The 2020 General Election is going to be one for the books. To say there is a lot on the line is an understatement of epic proportions. We are in the midst of a global pandemic and a national racial justice moment of reckoning.
Our entire electoral system is deeply related to one’s residency. Where you live determines what district you vote in, the candidates you choose to support each election, and the issues that appear on your ballot. But, can you vote if you do not have a traditional place of residence?
Back in March when the nation was closing down due to the global pandemic and the future of the Ohio Primary was uncertain, we told you: Keep Calm and Vote on!
And now we’re here to tell you: Keep Calm and Vote on… Again!
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.