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Rep. Fudge hearing on voter issues reveals barriers

Democratic Representative Marcia Fudge conducted a House Administration Elections Subcommittee field hearing April 25th at the Cuyahoga Community College, where constituents discussed intended practices designed to create barriers to discourage voting by groups.

The groups at question included African-American and the poor.

‘Policy Matters Ohio Think Tank’ Director Daniel Ortiz reportedly said, “We should be making it easier to vote.” He described a “steady erosion of voting rights” in the state with the closure of more than 300 polling locations since 2012. He said that fewer polling locations make voting harder for those individuals who don’t drive, such as the elderly and the disabled.

Ohio Conference of the NAACP President Tom Roberts reportedly argued that the state’s practice of removing voters from it's rolls has resulted in many voters showing up at the polls only to be told that their registration was canceled.

Failure to cast a ballot for a two-year period triggers Ohio’s removal process. Notices are sent to voters whose registration is flagged. Registration is canceled if there is no response to notices. Consequently, no votes are cast during the next four years and the voter address isn’t updated.

We are grateful for the participation of those in attendance and for Representative Marcia Fudge conducting the field hearing. We are confident that actions regarding the fundamental right to vote as well as the ability to vote should never be hindered or crippled in any way.

We encourage actions so that all of our citizens can participate in this most important political process.

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