Contacts: Jen Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org; 614-563-9543; Catherine Turcer, Common Cause (614)579-5509; Mike Brickner, All Voting is Local (216) 702-3034
Voting Rights Groups Call On LaRose And Legislature To Protect Ohio Voters In Wake of COVID-19
More than 65 local groups push for emergency voting reforms after postponement of presidential primary
COLUMBUS - Today, a coalition of over 65 Ohio voting rights and advocacy groups sent a letter to Secretary of State Frank LaRose, legislative leaders, and all members of the Ohio General Assembly urging them to take immediate action to resolve numerous problems with our elections in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, including expanding early in-person voting and vote by mail, enacting emergency preparedness policies and plans for future elections, and increasing poll worker pay.
“Ohioans have a right to make their voice heard and we need action now to ensure they can,” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio. “The COVID-19 pandemic creates new hurdles for Ohio voters and election administrators, but there are clear solutions to make sure our elections are safe and accessible to every eligible voter.”
“Voters should not have to choose between their health and their right to vote, and officials can protect both,” said Mike Brickner, Ohio state director of All Voting is Local. “Now is the time for elected officials to take bold steps to ensure the accessibility of future elections by expanding access to early in-person and vote by mail options. Every eligible voter must have the opportunity to cast a ballot freely and fairly, while protecting the public’s health.”
“Now more than ever, Ohio leaders need to work together to adopt solutions that balance the health of our democracy and all Ohioans,” said Jen Miller, executive director of League of Women Voters of Ohio. “For the benefit of all voters, Ohio must improve the vote-by-mail system, invest in voter education as these dynamics continue to change, and continue to abide by fundamental voter access laws.”
The letter urges action on over two dozen administrative and legislative reforms around absentee voting, early in-person voting, poll workers, emergency preparedness, ADA accessibility, and voter education. These reforms will help administrator elections to protect all Ohioans’ freedom to vote in this time of crisis.