Commentary

03.28.15

March Madness (or Not Registering to Vote)

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Voting Rights

Time and time again voters profess their wavering loyalty to the ballot and only show up in large numbers for presidential elections. Many people will pay more attention to the hustle and bustle of collegiate sports this month than the excitement of local politics, but this is when the real change occurs.

From nationwide social injustices to local law and order, the seed for change is small and always the same: you must vote. For instance, the recent controversy surrounding police brutality and the lack of officer indictments and convictions is not something to be acted upon in 2016, we need progress now. Being observant of policies as they are proposed and enacted is essential. In the wake of the disturbing video footage of Eric Garner’s fatal interaction with police in New York, Illinois passed Senate Bill 1342, a law that prohibits recording without all parties’ consent—essentially making recording an officer illegal. This legislation negatively impacts communities as people want to feel safe and do something to document and battle the ongoing use of excessive force by police.

When laws pass that you find egregious or unjust, complaining in coffee shops, posting on social networks, and waiting for “those politicians” (that you did not vote for) to fix it simply won’t do. This means actively participating in elections and being informed about issues and candidates on the ballot. You must support and vote for the candidate that best represents you, someone you have confidence in to make sound decisions on behalf of constituents. Let your voice be heard and if you do support a new city ordinance on the ballot, cast your vote and say so!

If this recipe for change doesn’t satisfy your appetite let’s go for the gusto.

Visit the ACLU of Ohio Vote Center.

Recent Attempts to Block Your Vote

Vote because they don’t want you to! Often, legislation concerning voting rights attempt to undermine access for marginalized groups. Last year, Ohio Senate Bill 238 eliminated the first week of early voting. Early voting is a convenient option that lessens the chaos and crowds on Election Day. In Ohio, it was extremely popular with voters in the 2012 election. Restricting early voting opportunities has been found to disproportionately impact minority and low-income communities.

They want to prevent you from participating.  Are you fired up and ready to go vote now?

Know the Facts

There are only a few pieces of information necessary to successfully register.

Visit our Vote Center where you can find out important dates to know, download a voter registration form, download a change of address form, locate your polling place, and much more!

Whether you do it to be patriotic, to honor all of your ancestors and forefathers, or to set an example for your children, it is your right and responsibility to let your voice be heard. Go register so you can rock the vote!

The deadline to register for the May 5 primary election is fast approaching— Monday, April 6, 2015. Don’t make excuses, just do it!

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