Voting Changes Needed

As of October 20, 613,000 Ohioans have returned their absentee ballot by mail.  There are 750,000 who had requested an absentee ballot but not returned those ballots yet in Ohio as of Saturday.  In Cuyahoga County 12% of the voters have returned their ballot with 132,000 still outstanding.  Cuyahoga County has a return rate as 45% and Franklin County has a 55% and Hamilton County has a 53% return rate while Mahoning County is leading the state with a 57% return rate.  If your family or friends have not returned their ballot yet, please encourage them to dropping off their ballot at the board or mailing those into the Board (remember the extra postage).

We are still offering rides to the Board of Elections to take your constituents to vote early.  Voting early will allow the voter to provide the last four digits of their social security number instead of having to show ID as they would on election day.  For low income people it is much better to vote early at the board of elections site.  That staff over on East 30th and Euclid are professional, efficient and will do a good job explaining the rules to the citizens so that their vote will count.  If you need to schedule a ride give us a call at 216/432-0540. 

Also, on our website we added some statistics on voter turnout rates and registration rates around the world.  Unfortunately, the United States is on the bottom of the list of the number of citizens registered to vote down with Cameroon with only 82% of our citizens registered in 2008.  Here is the link to the site. This just reinforces the need for dramatic changes in the voting procedures in the United States.  This is something that should be taken up as a constitutional amendment:

  • Mandatory registration/voting requirements.  You should pay an additional tax if you choose not to vote.
  • Minimum standards for registering every citizen in every state including the distribution of free identification to protect the vote.
  • Ending all barriers to participating in democracy including challengers at the polling places.
  • Removing oversight elections from the parties.  This should be operated in a non-partisan manner throughout the United States, and independents should have a seat at the table.
  • Voting should not be tied to a house.  You should be able to cast a statewide only ballot or a county wide ballot if you choose. 
  • Setting a goal to have 95% registered by the next presidential election. 

NEOCH will be doing a ton of work on Election Day.   If you would like to volunteer on Election Day to help get homeless people to vote, please give us a call.  Since the change of address deadline in Ohio was October 9, there are many who became homeless over the last month.  They may be registered in another area of the county or in a surrounding county and need a ride back to their polling place of origin in order to vote.  We can offer rides back to the polling place for residents of the shelter to assure that they can vote.  We will also be available at NEOCH to answer questions about ID provisions, where a person is supposed to vote, or if they need a ride to a distant polling place.  We will be available all day to answer  questions or respond to problems.  Call if you want to volunteer at 216/432-0540.

Brian Davis

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