For some it is a matter of religious conscience. For others, a valuable civil right that should be exercised. The bottom line for many community leaders is that they just want Ohio residents to vote on Tuesday.
A coalition of religious, labor, and social justice leaders gathered at Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, 918 Colburn St., Thursday to discuss what their organizations are doing to encourage people to vote and help them get to the correct polling sites. Those efforts include: offering free transportation to the polls, providing a voter information phone hot line, circulating reminder flyers, and preaching from the pulpit about the importance of voting.
Local Catholic leaders also met Thursday at the Lucas County Early Voting Center at Summit Plaza, 1500 N. Summit St., to discuss how they plan to encourage voter turnout. Many leaders said they plan to remind parishioners to consider Catholic social teachings and vote their conscience.
Many community leaders are concerned about voter confusion because of a recent decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Ohioans cannot vote just anywhere in the county and still have their tallies in major races counted, said Karen Krause, social justice chairman for the Toledo Area Jobs with Justice & Interfaith Worker Justice Coalition. That decision overrules an earlier injunction from a lower federal court that last month granted the broader voting rights.
The action is “doubly-confusing,” Ms. Krause said. The organization has been distributing informational flyers to help alleviate voter confusion on where they should vote, said Ms. Krause.
The Rev. Willie L. Perryman of Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church said the underlying message is that people need to vote. Mr. Perryman said he is disappointed that Secretary of State Jon Husted waited so long before challenging the injunction.
“We were somewhat disappointed with the secretary of state’s efforts to confuse voters so that their vote doesn’t count,” Mr. Perryman said. “The key element to all of this is that we want people to vote. We have a legal right and civil right to vote.”
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