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Government and Politics


Cuyahoga pushes a charter amendment to guarantee voting rights
Council approves the November ballot issue with all three GOP members voting no
Story by JOANNA RICHARDS


 
County exec and gubernatorial candidate FitzGerald says Republicans are trying to keep Democrats home.
Courtesy of File photo
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In The Region:

Cuyahoga County’s Democratic leadership has battled state Republicans over voters’ access to the ballot. Last night, the county moved to better arm itself in that fight. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Joanna Richards has more.

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Voters will decide this fall whether Cuyahoga County should make protecting citizens’ voting rights a fundamental mission of county government.

County Council’s Democratic majority voted to include the charter amendment on the November ballot. The three Republican on council voted against it.

Supporters, led by County Executive Ed FitzGerald, say it would strengthen the county’s legal standing in court as it defends its own rules on ballot access.

“This is our way of saying this is one of our home-rule powers. We take it seriously. We’ve put it in our charter.”

FitzGerald, who’s trying to unseat Gov.Kasich in the November election, says Republican restrictions on early voting hours and the power of counties to distribute absentee ballots are attempts to suppress likely Democratic voters, especially minorities.

Republicans have argued Ohioans have plenty of opportunities to vote, and its restrictions are aimed at creating uniform rules throughout the state.

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