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.
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.
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.
By Chris Geggie
Even though our state plays such a huge role in determining the direction of one of the most powerful countries in the world, voters remain disengaged, especially in primary elections. According to data from the Ohio Secretary of State, the average voter turnout in primary elections since 1986 is about 28.55 percent.
By Lisa Wurm
Diana Mairose is a voting rights advocate who works as an Advocacy Support Advisor for Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services.
Ohio is often the spotlight on Election Day, and this year was no different. Hamilton County, in particular, gained much statewide attention—not because of hotly contested local races or ballot issues, but because of a glitch in new technology at the polls.
By Chris Geggie
“No idiot, or insane person, shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector.” That is how Article V, Section 6 of the Ohio State Constitution currently reads, and it is the subject of the most recent meeting of the Bill of Rights and Voting Committee of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission.
By Lisa Wurm
Everyone knows it — Ohio is a major swing state, often the deciding state in presidential elections. But in every election, our votes have a greater impact on our local communities. This year Ohioans have the opportunity, and obligation, to provide leadership for the entire country on desperately needed reform in our criminal justice electoral systems.
By Lisa Wurm
While it is not a presidential election year, this November 3 might be the most important day you will ever cast your ballot in Ohio.
And no, we are not talking about marijuana.
We are talking about the very important, but sadly unexciting, issue of redrawing state legislative districts to be fairer.