Ohio’s voter registration deadline is Monday, October 5—only a few days away. For those not registered to vote that’s a short amount of time to download, complete, and mail the registration application or go to a board of elections or BMV to register.
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.
Almost 40 years ago, long before the issue took off around the country, Ohio legislators decriminalized the possession of marijuana up to 100 grams, a not insignificant amount. This was welcome progress, and the hope was lawmakers and police across Ohio would soon focus their attention elsewhere.
All polling locations must be physically accessible for people with disabilities, and each polling location must have one accessible voting machine. But does accessibility only mean technology and brick and mortar?
Time to Change Attitudes
When we think about barriers for voters with disabilities, we often think of physical barriers, but there are people barriers, too.
The monumental events of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s gave hope to many African-Americans who desired an end to racial segregation and discrimination. The abolishment of Jim Crow laws ended the implementation of laws that supported racial segregation in Southern states.
Legislation introduced in the Ohio Statehouse will tighten the regulations on abortion in an attempt to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision Roe v. Wade (1973) that the outright banning of abortion is unconstitutional. If passed, these laws would make Ohio second only to Texas in abortion regulation.
The right to vote has been fought over since the very beginning of this county. Using qualifiers like property, sex, color, and now even ID, those with access to political power have found plenty of reasons to restrict the participation of those without it.
Are you hooked on the Peabody Award-winning, critically acclaimed Netflix series “Orange is the New Black?”
The stories of main character Piper Chapman’s time in prison have been shown on screens across the country, and brought prison issues to the conscience of the general public.
The ACLU of Ohio has a substantial history working with adolescents, whether through our internship program, mentoring relationships, or ongoing campaigns, such as health rights.
Over a decade ago, the ACLU of Ohio launched the publication, “Your Health and the Law: A Guide for Teens,” also known as the teen health guide.
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.
This school year, all of Ohio’s public school children now have the same rights and protections when it comes to the use of seclusion and restraints. It’s been three years in the making.
In August 2012, The Columbus Dispatch and StateImpact Ohio, a collaborative of Ohio NPR stations WCPN, WKSU, and WOSU, launched, “Locked Away,” an investigation into restraint and seclusion practices in Ohio schools.
If you live in Ohio and are inclined to follow political news and developments, you are already aware voters will be asked in November whether or not they favor legalizing marijuana in Ohio.
What you probably do not know is Toledo voters have a similar issue on their citywide ballot.
Do your job.
That, in a nutshell, is the advice offered recently by the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Board of Professional Conduct to judges who decline to marry same-sex couples based on their personal, moral, or religious beliefs.
The board’s advisory opinion provided guidance on two questions:
- May a judge who performs civil marriages refuse same-sex couples while continuing to marry opposite sex couples?