CLEVELAND – All Voting is Local today announced a campaign to reach hundreds of thousands of Ohio residents whose polling places have changed for the March 17 primary election because of last-minute moves amid concerns about the coronavirus.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose this week ordered all polling places located in senior centers to be moved to protect older adults from the coronavirus. The polling place changes will affect approximately 180,000 voters. All Voting is Local intends to reach voters affected by these changes through text message, while also doing targeted phone calls and neighborhood canvasses in Cuyahoga County, where over a dozen polling places were moved because of the March 17 now-cancelled St. Patrick’s Day Parade. All Voting is Local urges state and local election officials to reach voters beyond traditional postcards through such means as television ads and public service announcements.
“With just a few days before the election, state and local officials must do more to reach voters directly so they can be certain their voices will be heard,” said Mike Brickner, Ohio State Director for All Voting is Local. “Postcards alone simply aren’t enough. Voters deserve to have the latest information so they can cast a ballot without problems. When a voter shows up at the wrong location, they must then locate and travel to their new location, which can be difficult for people with inflexible work schedules or childcare duties. We will do our part to call, text and knock on voters’ doors to make sure that these changes aren’t a barrier come March 17th. Election officials must do theirs.”
Last month, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections announced that poll locations throughout the county would be moved so that voters could access polling places without significant disruption from the St Patrick’s Day festivities. The parade was cancelled this week because of concerns about coronavirus.
All Voting is Local will directly contact voters by:
- Texting and calling as many impacted voters as possible to inform them of the polling place changes in advance of March 17th.
- Going door-to-door in six precincts on the eastern side of the County that have historically experienced problems at the polls and have a polling location change.
- Going door-to-door in six downtown precincts that were directly in the line of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to encourage voters to cast ballots early, and provide a toll-free phone number they can call to schedule a free ride to early voting.
Voters can find a list of the updated polling locations on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.
Last week, All Voting is Local and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights launched “And Still I Vote,” a national call to action to overcome discriminatory barriers to voting, such as polling place closures, and to help ensure that all eligible voters get to cast a ballot and have it counted.