An effort to put a voting-rights amendment on Ohio’s November ballot will “go all the way up to the wire,” the organizer said Thursday, acknowledging Democratic candidates may miss out on the turnout benefit a voting-related ballot issue would bring. African-American leaders in the quintessential swing state are seeking to gather the 385,000 signatures needed to put their proposed Voters Bill of Rights on the Ohio ballot. They had been aiming to get the issue in front of voters in November, citing a need to fight back swiftly against new GOP-sponsored laws that Democrats say unfairly restrict ballot access. But signatures for the November ballot are due July 2, and some key elements of signature-gathering are just ramping up, said state Rep. Alicia Reece, D-Bond Hill, the leader of the effort. If activists fall short of their goal, they’ll save their signatures for another election. That could eliminate some of the boost Democratic candidates this fall may have received from having a ballot issue that galvanizes African-American voters.
“This issue can certainly help with turnout because people would be coming out to vote for themselves and then vote for the candidates who share their views,” Reece told The Enquirer. Even if the issue fails to make the ballot, “people are now alert, and they know they have an opportunity to fight back. When you have a movement, it’s not a one and out. It’s a process.”
The group is still aiming for the November ballot, Reece said, but has yet to count the number of signatures volunteers have gathered.
The Voters Bill of Rights would preserve a 35-day early voting period, specify extended hours for early voting, allow a voter to cast a provisional ballot anywhere in the correct county and move toward online voter registration. Many of the provisions are a reaction to GOP-sponsored bills that may make voting more difficult for some – in exchange for added security, fairness and efficiency, Republicans say. Gov. John Kasich has signed the measures into law.
Full Article: Voters Bill of Rights might miss November ballot.