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Help Stop Voter Suppression in Ohio

Roughly 30 days from now House Bill 194 is supposed to go into effect. This bill, passed by the Republican controlled Ohio Generalsign Assembly, can seriously impact the Democrats chances of retaining the White House and the Senate seat held by Sherrod Brown.  Issues with the bill:

• It reduces the number of days that mail-in absentee voting can occur before the election from 35 days to 21.

• It reduces the number of days people can vote early at their boards of elections from 35 to 14 days before the election.

• It eliminates in-person early voting in evenings, and on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the election.

• Poll workers at polling places with multiple precincts are not required to direct people to the correct precinct table if they show up at the wrong one.

What can you do to help stop HB 194

An effort is underway to collect enough signatures to put the Republican voter suppression bill on the ballot. To stop the law from taking effect, petitions with a total of at least 231,154 signatures must be filed by September 29, 2011. To help this effort you can:

• Sign a petition.

Carol Mohr will have petitions available at her house this Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (both days.) Her address is 2567 Westmont Road, Upper Arlington, 43221.

• Help circulate a petition and/or contribute to the Ohio Democratic Party. Contact the ODP to offer your help.

Need more convincing why HB 194 is so bad?

Read this thought-provoking op-ed piece in the New York Times written by U.S. Representative John Lewis. An excerpt:

"Since January, a majority of state legislatures have passed or considered election-law changes that, taken together, constitute the most concerted effort to restrict the right to vote since before the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In Georgia, Florida, Ohio and other states, legislatures have significantly reduced opportunities to cast ballots before Election Day — an option that was disproportionately used by African-American voters in 2008. In this case the justification is often fiscal: Republicans in North Carolina attempted to eliminate early voting, claiming it would save money. Fortunately, the effort failed after the State Election Board demonstrated that cuts to early voting would actually be more expensive..."


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