Ohio Voter Rights Coalition Blog; The Ohio Voter Rights Coalition

Fair Districts = Fair Elections, Vote Yes on Issue 1

As voter advocates who work to make voting easy and convenient in Ohio, the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition strongly urges your support for Redistricting Reform on this November’s ballot.  Issue 1 will create fair districts and fair elections for Ohio. This reform will create a transparent and bipartisan process for drawing district lines, and will explicitly forbid drawing districts for political advantage.  Citizens will be given more power to challenge maps if election outcomes do not reflect the will of the people.

We regularly hear from community members who don’t vote, and don’t believe that elected officials represent their interests.  Sadly, “My vote won’t make a difference” is a familiar refrain.  We don’t have to look any further than the election results of 2014 to see that voter enthusiasm and turnout have hit record-low levels.  As much importance as we place on voting, we can certainly understand the frustrations of people who choose to sit out of a process that is rigged against voters.

It doesn’t take a magnifying glass to see that Ohio’s district lines are oddly-shaped – contorted to create maximum the number of seats for the party in power.  Following the 2010 Census, Republicans controlled the process of redrawing the lines. Republicans gave themselves 12 congressional districts and packed the Democrats into just four districts. Despite Ohio being a swing state, with roughly a 50/50 split of Republicans and Democrats, in the last two elections, Republicans got 75 percent of the congressional seats in Ohio, with just 55 percent of the vote.  When Democrats controlled the process for drawing lines, they too manipulated the districts in their favor.  This type of gerrymandering produces a number of alarming results: representation that does not reflect the preferences of voters, non-competitive elections, and elected officials who are not accountable to the community that he or she purportedly represents.

This November, voters have a tremendous opportunity to fix this broken system by passing Issue 1. Voting “Yes” on Issue 1 will significantly improve the fairness of our state legislative elections.  Under the proposed rules, district lines will be drawn so that communities will be kept together.   Issue 1 will stop gerrymandering by prohibiting district lines from being drawn to benefit one party over another.  Most importantly, for the first time, the Ohio Constitution will require district maps to fairly reflect the statewide preferences of voters.  This November, let’s get politicians out of the business of manipulating state district lines.  Please join the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition in voting Yes on Issue 1.

Visit www.yesforissue1.org for more information on redistricting reform in Ohio.

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Camille Wimbish is the Election Administration Director for Ohio Voice

Celebrate National Voter Registration Day on September 22

Celebrate democracy with us on National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), September 22, 2015.  Join us in the largest one-day effort to register voters all across the country.  Thousands of Ohioans need to register or re-register every year in order for their votes to be counted.  This Election Day help ensure that no one’s voice is shut out of the political process.
September 22, 2015


Hosting a NVRD Event?
Register your event here so that future voters and potential volunteers can find them.  


Looking for a NVRD Event?
Find voter registration events in your area.  (Check back frequently as new events will be added on an ongoing basis)  


Help us Promote National Promote NVRD
There are several ways you can help us promote National Voter Registration Day so that no eligible citizen is shut out of the political process on Election Day.  

1. Promote NVRD with Thunderclap
Help us spread the word about National Voter Registration Day by signing up for our Thunderclap. By agreeing to post a one-time message on your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, you will  greatly expand our social reach.  Learn more about Thunderclap here.

 2. Promote NVRD with other Social Media and Email
Check out resources to spread the word about National Voter Registration Day through social media and email, including sample tweets, social media graphics, and sample language to email your friends to remind them to register to vote.


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Why Do You Vote?

Tell us why you vote by posting content to your social media using the hashtag #whyIvote
Tweet: Hey @votercoalition, I vote because... #whyIvote
Click the bluebird to tweet why you vote!


Important 2015 Election Dates

  • Registration Deadline - October 5
  • Early Voting begins - October 6
  • Election Day - November 3

Early In Person Voting Schedule
October 2015

Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat




1
2
3
4
5
Voter           
Registration            
Deadline
6
Early Voting     
8am -5pm
7
Early Voting
8am -5pm
8
Early Voting
8am -5pm
9
Early Voting
8am -5pm
10
11
12
Early Voting
8am -5pm
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Early Voting
8am -5pm
14
Early Voting
8am -5pm
15
Early Voting
8am -5pm
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Early Voting
8am -5pm
17
18
19
Early Voting
8am -5pm
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Early Voting
8am -5pm
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Early Voting
8am -5pm
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Early Voting
8am -5pm
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Early Voting
8am -5pm
24
25
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Early Voting
8am -7pm
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Early Voting
8am -7pm
28
Early Voting
8am -7pm
29
Early Voting
8am -7pm
30
Early Voting
8am -7pm
31
Early Voting 8am-4pm
1
Early Voting
1pm -5pm
2
Early Voting
8am-2pm
3
Election Day
4
5
6
7
Source: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/news/2015-04-17.pdf

Contact information for Ohio’s County Board of Elections can be accessed here.  

 

Help Pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015

This week marks the two-year anniversary of Shelby v. Holder, the Supreme Court decision which gutted core components of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965. The Shelby case is devastating because for the last half century, the VRA has protected the right to vote for millions of Americans. Unless Congress updates the VRA, the federal government will be powerless to stop racially discriminatory election procedures from going into effect.   
Congress has been unwilling to restore the critical protections of the VRA for two years -- however the need for voting rights protections has skyrocketed.  In 2014, 21 states had new voting restrictions in place, followed by 17 states introducing 40 new voting restrictions in 2015.  The 2016 election will be the first in 50 years where voters will not have the full protections of the VRA, which makes fixing the Voting Rights Act an urgent priority.
The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 (VRAA), a bill just introduced in Congress by Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. John Lewis, will restore key voting rights protections.  Most importantly, the VRAA will modernize the preclearance found in the original Voting Rights Act of 1965 and protect against voting changes that may be harmful or discriminatory.
Republican and Democratic administrations and Congresses alike have reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in full for decades, and there is no reason why we cannot all work together to restore the Voting Rights Act today.  
Will you join us?  Sign our petition to urge Congress to act quickly to restore the Voting Rights Act.

Tweet: Sign the petition asking Congress to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015! http://ctt.ec/bGUx9+  #VotingRightsAct