Black legislative leaders, clergy and civil rights advocates today announced a statewide effort to amend the Ohio Constitution to ensure protections for Ohio voters. The Voter Bill of Rights will prevent the erosion of voting rights, supporters said, by placing them in state constitution. “We come to represent constituents, memberships, average citizens who have been crying out to protect voting rights,” Rep. Alicia Reece, a Cincinnati Democrat and president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, told supporters at a lunchtime rally at Trinity Baptist Church on Columbus’ near east side. “These are the same citizens who have had to be targeted by voter intimidation billboards.
These are the same constituents who some took almost two years for votes to be counted. These are the same constituents where some folks to this day still have not have not been counted through provisional ballots.
“These are also constituents who watched every day, once a week, a voter-surpression bill that passes somewhere in the Ohio General Assembly.”
Reece said the effort, announced just ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, follows a June decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which struck down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.