With Ohio's voter registration ending today, and early voting beginning tomorrow, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) released guides today for early voting by mail and in person (see attached).
Rep. Clyde has been traveling across the state, talking to voters and Ohioans about the ongoing effort to improve early voting opportunities and voter access.
“Ohio adopted early voting for all in 2005, but it's been a struggle to keep it ever since. Republicans have continuously led efforts to reduce voter turnout, to promote the boogeyman issue of voter fraud and to eliminate opportunities for early voting,” said Rep. Clyde.
To put this in perspective, Rep. Clyde provided the following chronological narrative of the voting rights battle, dating back to 2004:
- In 2004, Ohioans waited in line for up to ten hours to vote on Election Day, and many frustrated voters left without ever casting a ballot.
- In response, early voting was passed in the Ohio legislature, in bipartisan fashion, in 2005.
- The November 2008 election, the first presidential election following the implementation of early voting, resulted in historic levels of voter turnout in Ohio. More voters voted in 2008 than at any time in Ohio election history.
- Since 2009, Republicans have led efforts to reduce voting opportunities and voter turnout. At least six bills have been introduced to shorten early voting alone.
- The courts have said again and again that Secretary of State Jon Husted's efforts to keep voters from the ballot are wrong.
- Husted failed in his effort to eliminate the final three days of voting when the court ordered him to restore those opportunities for voters (Obama v. Husted).
- The NAACP took Husted to court to restore early voting on nights and weekends (NAACP v. Husted).
- Unfortunately, Husted and his GOP allies in the legislature were successful in eliminating the first week of early voting, also eliminating Ohio's one opportunity for same day voter registration. This underscores the necessity to continue the fight for voting rights.
Rep. Clyde is available to discuss the struggle to maintain voting rights for all Ohioans on the eve of early voting.