Unfinished Business

Ohio Election Officials Make One Last Try to Limit Voting

One of the greatest victories for voting rights activists during the past year was the effort by Fair Elections Ohio and a broad coalition of organizations to defeat an unfair anti-voting law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. The story of that Ohio voting rights victory is told in a new video produced by the Leadership Conference Education Fund.  Activists gathered enough signatures to put the anti-voter law on the ballot – and rather than face defeat, the Ohio governor and legislature repealed their own law.

But that wasn’t the end of the story.  Republican politicians and election officials have continued to try to limit early voting – sometimes in ways that would have created blatant partisan advantage.  After months of legal wrangling, it looked like the issue may have been settled last week when a federal appeals court required state officials to re-instate early voting for all voters – not just members of the military – on the weekend before the November 6, 2012, election.

But Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has made a last-ditch effort to stop voting in the weekend before the election, when many African American churches have conducted successful “souls to the polls” drives.  On Tuesday he asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal appeals court ruling.

While the fight for fair elections in Ohio continues, it is not the only state where voting rights advocates have been battling efforts to limit or restrict who can vote. The Leadership Conference Education Fund has also produced videos focusing on voting rights in Colorado and Wisconsin.

Visit Election Protection to learn more about voting in Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, and other states — and find out how you can protect your right to participate freely in fair elections.