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Government and Politics

Cuyahoga council takes its first step in challenging voting restrictions
Hearing on voting-rights bill challenging new Ohio law will be Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Sunny Simon says county council faces no more important issue.
Courtesy of Stream: Cuyahoga County Council
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Cuyahoga County has taken the first step in its battle against new state limits on early and absentee voting. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on a fight that promises to go to court, as well as through county council.

LISTEN: Cuyahoga council on voting rights bill

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County Executive Ed FitzGerald formally introduced a bill to county council tonight that says it’s a matter of home rule and fairness to allow the county to send unsolicited absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in the county.

If council adopts the measure, it would be directly flouting a new state law that says only the Secretary of State can mail out the applications, and then only if the state lawmakers approve the money for him to do so.

County Councilwoman Sunny Simon says fighting the law is crucial.

“I think it’s one of the most important functions we serve as a council member of a new charter government in which we’re able to exercise home rule and stand up for residents who perhaps are going to see their voting rights taken away, a right that they’ve been exercising to vote by mail to vote before an election and to make sure these rights aren’t limited. This is a vital essential core function believe that we serve.”

Studies, including one by the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute, show Democratic voters are more likely to voter early and by absentee ballots.

Republican lawmakers say they are only trying to promote consistency among Ohio’s 88 counties.

County Council will hold a hearing on the bill next Tuesday at 3 p.m.




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