ColorofChange Floods Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s Office With Calls Demanding Weekend Voting in the Early Voting Period
Over 67,000 ColorofChange Members Have Already Signed a Petition Calling on Husted to Restore Weekend Voting Hours
October 2, 2012
CONTACTS: Rachel Tardiff: (202) 746-1507, email@example.com
CJ Frogozo, 310 570 2622, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMBUS, OH—Today early voting begins in Ohio, and in recent days ColorOfChange members have flooded Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office with hundreds of phone calls demanding that Ohioans be allowed to vote during weekends in the early voting period. More than 67,000 ColorOfChange members have signed a petition making the same demand and calling for an end to voter suppression in the state. These petition signatures and 13,000 more from members of MoveOn.org, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and people using the Change.org platform were delivered to Husted earlier this month -- proof of nationwide support for Ohioans' full access to the polls. But Husted still refuses to restore early voting on weekends leading up to Election Day.
"Members of our community know how important Ohio is to the upcoming presidential election," said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. "That's why they're continuing to make sure that Mr. Husted hears our message loud and clear. Voting by mail is not an appropriate alternative to being able to cast our ballots at the polls, despite Mr. Husted's claims that weekend voting is unnecessary. We've seen in previous elections that Black and low-income Ohioans take full advantage of expanded early vote hours. This is not the time to toy with a system that has worked for years for Ohio voters."
Early voting has been an important tool in making voting accessible to all Ohioans since 2005. The state revamped its voting laws after long lines left some voters — disproportionately African-American, the elderly, poor and first-ime voters — waiting for more than 10 hours in 2004. Since then, Ohioans have been able to vote early — at night and on weekends — for 35 days before the election.
But in the face of a competitive election, Husted has tried to play partisan politics with Ohioans' access to the polls and is holding firm on restricting weekend voting across Ohio. In August, Husted was scheduled to speak at an Ohio conference of True the Vote, a Tea Party spin-off organization known for its efforts to shut out voting blocks that typically lean Democratic by overstating the threat of voter fraud. Husted also appeared to show support for tighter voter ID restrictions when he addressed a group of Cincinnati-area Tea Party members last month.
“It’s shameful that Husted is choosing partisan politics over administering fair elections," Robinson said. "Mr. Husted's decision that the polls won't be open weekends during the early vote period is an affront to Black Ohioans, the elderly, students, and low-income voters, many of whom rely on these additional daytime hours to vote prior to Election Day. We need to keep up the public pressure on Husted and keep shining a light on his voter suppression tactics.”
With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest Black online civil rights organization.
For media inquiries, please contact: