U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Joyce Beatty said yesterday that they are working to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 in the Senate and House, respectively, to improve voter access before Election Day. “That’s one way to suppress the vote is by confusing voters, and we’ve seen that in this state for a number of years,” Brown said at the event at Bethel AME Church on Cleveland Avenue in South Linden. Dispatch Voters Guide: View a sample ballot customized to your location. The Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 would be an update to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prevents voter discrimination based on race, color or membership in a minority language group.
The updated bill also would require reasonable notice if there is a change in voting procedures, polling-place resources or demographics and electoral districts.
The bill has 175 co-sponsors across party lines in the House, which reflects the bipartisan support when the Voting Rights Act was most recently reauthorized in 2006, Beatty said.
The Ohio Democrats’ efforts come in response to cuts in early voting in Ohio, as well as other states’ efforts to reduce early-voting hours or require voter IDs.