Help set the record straight on voting problems in Ohio
by Gena Miller Shelton
Our friends from True the Vote published a recent report entitled “The Myth of Voter Suppression” where they stated that not a single case of voter suppression occurred in Ohio in 2012. The basis of their claim is that not a single person in the state of Ohio filed a complaint with officials that their vote was suppressed. Apparently the folk who had their cars were towed while waiting in lines to early vote, or the students who waited over 2+ hours at the Ohio Union, or the minority communities who had threatening billboards placed in their neighborhoods, did not experience voter suppression because no one officially put the complaint in writing on the proper form.
Now is your opportunity to set the record straight by putting your complaints in writing. It is time to let the Voice of the Voter be heard on the issues of voting. The Ohio General Assembly has plans to make major changes to our election laws this year. We are already seeing this impact via the recently passed legislation that will make it more difficult for citizens groups to collect signatures to place an issue on the ballot, and most recently with the attempts to discourage college students from voting. In order to fight these efforts, individuals need to speak up and make noise. A group of voting rights activists and organizations have come together to help you do just that.
The Ohio Voting Rights Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group of voting rights organizations and advocates. They don’t back a particular candidate or party. They fight for the rights of individual voters with the goal of “free fair and accessible elections.” The group is inviting the public to come share their stories of problems they may have encountered during Early Voting or on Election Day 2012. Voting is too important to remain silent and risk having your voting rights taken away. This is a special opportunity for you, the voter, to express your opinions about what would make elections more convenient and secure and make you more confident that your vote will be counted. The coalition will be compiling your stories, videos, and survey responses to share with the election officials and lawmakers to influence how our voting laws will be changed.
In order for this event to be a success, individuals need to participate and share their stories. If you have a firsthand experience from Early Voting or Election Day you want to share please share it. Here are some ways you let your voice be heard:
- RSVP to attend the Voice of the Voter forum Sponsored by the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition and WBNS- 10TV on Wednesday, May 8 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Marion Franklin Recreation Center, 2801 Lockbourne Rd. Columbus, Ohio43207.
- Take the Voice of the Voter online survey to share you voting experiences:
- Tweet questions and comments to the organization using the handle @votercoalition or the hashtag #votervoice
- If you feel really fired up but can’t make the Columbus forum send written comments or short videos to Camille@statevoices.com.
- Join the coalition and keep up to date on all of the breaking Voting Rights news by following @votercoalition on twitter or by liking their Facebook page.
Now is the time to speak up and speak up loudly. Do not let the individuals who want to suppress your vote say no one complained.