On Tuesday, Athens voters overwhelmingly approved ending all penalties for marijuana possession of up to seven ounces. This ballot measure is a hidden gem in this week’s election results and deserves statewide recognition for expanding civil liberties and moving Ohio a step closer to marijuana legalization, which the ACLU has long supported.
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.
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.
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.
By Shakyra Diaz
To vote in the United States, you must be a citizen and 18 years or older. However, in some states citizens are stripped of their right to vote permanently. Luckily, Ohio is not one of those states.
Who are these citizens robbed of their right to participate in democracy?
By Shakyra Diaz
I recently joined a delegation from the Women of Color Foundation for its first annual Leadership Symposium-Prison Outreach Initiative to participate in a daylong conference with about 250 incarcerated women at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville.
In a large assembly-style room, we were greeted with a beautiful banner and mural that was painted by some resident artists.
By Shakyra Diaz
Many states impose lifetime voting bans or restrict voting for people who are on parole, probation, or unable to pay court-related fines. The good news is that Ohio is not one of those states, but more on that later.
Now the Bad News
There’s a great deal of voter confusion and misinformation.
By Lisa Wurm
The ACLU of Ohio supports online voter registration, especially for the many Ohioans with disabilities, limited incomes, inflexible work or family schedules, or lack of transportation means.
Strong Support Paying Off
Ohio Senate Bill 63 will establish a secure, online voter registration system for the state and was just passed last week by the state Senate.