Not since John F. Kennedy has a Democrat been elected President of the United States without winning Ohio. Yet, Ohio remains the number 1 state in the United States to continuously purge registered voters from their rolls for infrequent voting in local elections, or for relocating within state lines. Consequently, tens of thousands of Ohio residents who have already registered to vote, who would normally vote democrat, may learn that they are no longer registered to vote, come Election day 2016.
The region of Ohio that is crucial for the 2016 Presidential election is Northeast Ohio, more specifically Cuyahoga County, and even more specifically, the city of Cleveland. There are enough Democrats in this area to cancel out all of the Republican voters in the state. However, the problem is that they are not voting.
Cleveland struggles as one of the poorest cities in America. In the meanwhile, the average rate of relocation for the working poor is every 8.9 months. Also, the working poor often find it difficult to make it to the polls, especially during local elections. These are factors that may have many Clevelanders purged from the rolls even if they have already registered to vote. Expecting the working poor who have already registered to vote, to keep re-registering to vote, is at the very least unreasonable. However, when the working poor vote, they more often than not, vote Democrat. Many Democrats from Cleveland and the greater Cleveland area are bound to make it to the polls, come election day, only to realize that they have been purged. This practice dis-empowers American Citizens residing in Ohio by blocking their right to vote. Furthermore, considering who is in the Republican Clown Car for 2016, it may help doom the near and far future of the United States, and the rest of the world.
Very importantly, if you live in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, or Ohio, there are some things that you can do. First of all, make sure that you are registered to vote, and that you don’t have to re-register due to infrequent voting, name change, or relocation within state lines. If you have been purged, make sure that you submit your voter registration card again. Don’t let anyone take away your rights! The voter registration form can be found in on the Cuyahoga Board of Elections website. Local libraries and the DMV also accept registration forms.
Also, encourage your friends and family to register to vote. If it’s possible that a friend may be purged due to the reasons mentioned above, express your concern. If there is a doubt, forward the URL for the the voter registration card to your friends. You can also accompany your friends to locations that accept voter registrations. You may be surprised at how often people will find the momentum to do something just because a friend asked and is willing to accompany them.
If you know young people who are old enough to vote for the first time, remind them to register, or send them the URL with the voter registration card. Many eighteen year olds who have never voted before, don’t necessarily know how to become registered. Your guidance is crucial.
Also, volunteer to help others register to vote. There are events all over Ohio, during various times of the day and the week, that need volunteers to help people register to vote. Once you are signed up to volunteer, invite your friends to join you. Again, you may be surprised at how often people will find the momentum to do something because a friend asked them too. Plus, volunteering is always more fun with good company. You can find out about volunteer opportunities by contacting the Ohio Democratic Party.
And know the issues! If you know or meet someone who is not sure which party to vote for, but you are aware of the relevant issues that will effect them directly, a little information goes a long way. Helping to inform the people in your life may be the motivator they need to get registered.
Lastly, come election day, make sure you and your friends go vote! I know that I will personally be asking around to see who may need a ride on election day. Though I don’t own a large car, I plan to squeeze in as many people as possible, and take as many trips as needed, to make sure that registered voters in the Cleveland area get to the polls.
Of course executing the above mentioned steps are important no matter where in the United States we live. But Ohio is a very special swing state that the future of this country and this world may very much rely on.