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OHIO TALKING POINTS

Since the 2004 election, Ohio has made exercising the right to vote for its citizens easier, more accessible and convenient.  Now, a new law, pushed by Republican Governor Kasich and his allies, threatens to roll back that progress and make it more difficult and confusing for Ohioans to make their voice heard at the ballot box.

Passed by the Republican Legislature and supported by the Republican Governor, these new rules significantly limit the time Ohioans have to vote early and makes it less likely that vote will count.  This new law:

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·     Reduces the days before the election that you can vote absentee by mail, cutting it from 5 weeks to 3.

·     Limits the time you have to vote absentee in person, reducing it from 5 weeks to 11 days.

·     Bans in-person absentee voting on Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday.

·     Bans in-person absentee voting the weekend before the election.

·     Stops requiring poll workers to help you find the right polling location if you’re at the wrong one.

·     Stops counting ballots that have minor technicalities – like checking the box by a candidates’ name AND writing in their name.

·     Eliminates opportunities for voters to ensure their provisional ballot counts.

It is no surprise that these new restrictions will greatly affect people of color and the underserved in our community.

·     A lot of us vote on the weekends when we aren’t juggling our jobs and many responsibilities.

·     A lot of us vote in the afternoon on Sunday after church, but if these new rules are allowed then that will no longer be an option.

·     Too many of us fought to get the right to vote and these new rules are trying to make it harder and harder to exercise that right.

Now, because of this law, millions of Ohioans will now be forced to wait in longer lines or take time off work to vote – and many may decide they can’t make it to the polls at all due to these new rules. According to The Columbus Dispatch, up to 40 percent of voters in Franklin County alone would have to find a new time, place, or way to vote in 2012.

But we have the power to stop it. We can reverse this law – and all you need to help is a pen. We have under 30 days to collect at least 231,000 signatures on an official petition, which puts the rules up for a “citizens’ veto” – preventing the law from affecting voters in 2012, and allowing the people of Ohio to make the final call on whether it ever takes effect.

·     Here’s the kicker though. Signatures for these petitions need to come from every county. We can’t just rely on Cleveland.  So, call your friends, neighbors and families and have them call their friends, neighbors and families before it’s too late.

We believe that when more people participate, our democracy is stronger and our government is more responsive.  Join us in sending that message, and help stop this law from preventing even one person from casting their vote.

To sign the petition, go to the link below:

http://www.barackobama.com/ohio-petition-home

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