HB 294 introduced, raises hurdles to early and absentee voting
Ohio now becomes the 48th state to consider restrictions in early and absentee voting with HB 294, sponsored by Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati). The bill would allow only one ballot box per county, for only ten days before the election, and disqualify any early ballot that is not enclosed in a security envelope. Voters would have to provide two forms of ID to request an absentee ballot online. This is despite the fact that Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State has repeatedly said the 2020 election was fair and legitimate, and that President Trump won by eight percentage points with record early turnout. In an interview with Karen Kasler of the Statehouse News Bureau, Seitz predicted that sponsors in the Ohio Senate may try to cut back the month of no-excuse early voting that has been allowed under Ohio law since 2005. You can follow the bill at this link. We will keep you posted on hearings.
May 12 forum to discuss Ohio’s redistricting process
Patricia Wittberg, SC, PhD of Ohio Common Cause will explain the huge changes in Ohio’s redistricting process that will be implemented for the first time this year after constitutional amendments passed by over 70% of Ohio voters in every county. Common Cause and the League of Women Voters Ohio played an essential role in winning these reforms to prevent extreme partisan gerrymandering, which are even more important since the Supreme Court declined in 2019 to set any standards. Wittberg will be speaking to the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati by Zoom at noon. Here is the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87342675433?pwd=Y3FVb3ZidmZiNngzY3l4bGk3VFZmUT09
MARCC is the interfaith social justice coalition created in 1968 with passionate support by the Rt. Rev. Roger Blanchard, Bishop of Southern Ohio. MARCC became the voice of Greater Cincinnati’s faith community in the healing work undertaken by Mayor Eugene Ruehlmann after the 1967 crisis in race relations. MARCC has continued to play a crucial role in work to improve police-community relations, on affordable housing, in immigrant rights, and other crucial social justice concerns.
Advocacy briefings are compiled by Ariel Miller, a member of Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, and a member of the diocesan Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team.