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Government and Politics

National Voting Rights Commission heads to Columbus today
Hearing is the last of 25 examining changes in voting laws, and the impact of the Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Ohio had long lines in 2012, but the election ran smoothly overall.
Courtesy of File photo
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A national civil rights group is in Columbus today for a day-long hearing on changes in Ohio voting laws and patterns. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports the results will likely be used to lobby Congress for changes in the Voting Rights Act and to try to steer off more restrictions on voting in Ohio.

LISTEN: Gill on voting changes

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LISTEN: Extended interview with Sonia Gill

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The National Commission on Voting Rights is holding 25 of the hearings nationwide, and this one will look at Ohio and Indiana. But the commission’s Sonia Gill SAYS Ohio is bound to take center stage because it has become such a high-profile state when it comes to national elections.

WHEN:  Friday 9: a.m. -5:30 p.m. (registration starts at 8:30 A.M.).

Riffe Center, Rooms South B&C , 31st Floor
77 S High St.
Columbus, OH 43215

Gill notes all that attention on Ohio was less than flattering in 2004, when the presidential election was plagued by long lines and other problems. She maintains that changes that allowed no-fault absentee and early voting on Sundays made Ohio elections a smooth and inclusive process, but recent cutbacks threaten that.

“It’s been this arc: Starting in a very bad place, making helpful, progressive changes to help Ohio voters, and all of the sudden, without justification, we’re seeing these rollbacks in access to voting.”

Gill says results of the Ohio hearing will also be packaged with the others to lobby Congress to change the Voting Rights Act, in light of a recent Supreme Court decision that weakened it.




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