Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President and state Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) responded to today’s federal appeals court decision backing Ohio’s elimination of “Golden Week,” a period in which voters were able to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day. The appellate ruling overturned a district judge’s finding that eliminating “Golden Week” had violated the Voting Rights Act by disproportionately impacting African American voters.
“Eliminating ‘Golden Week’ in Ohio will negatively impact low-income and minority voters. The ability for Ohioans from all walks of life to exercise their most fundamental freedom should not hinge upon whomever happens to hold the secretary of state’s office during any given election cycle,” said Reece. “Today’s ruling highlights the importance of protecting every citizen’s right to vote in our state’s constitution, so that politicians can no longer rig the rules for partisan gain.”
Reece is a long-time voting rights advocate and spoke at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. She also leads the ongoing push for a Voter Bill of Rights to protect all Ohioans’ right to vote. The Voter Bill of Rights would amend the state constitution to define the right to vote as a fundamental right, establish early voting dates and times, allow the legislature to prescribe proper training and staffing for polling locations, create an online voter registration system, protect against voter ID requirements and voter registration tests, and include safeguards that ensure provisional ballots are counted.