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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Akron Launches its Effort to Make Voting a Joy -- Again

Brainstorming for Joy of Voting

Akron began its Joy of Voting project last night with a wall full of ideas ranging from guerilla theater at polling places to a community party and get-out-the vote competitions.

Citizen University is coordinating the effort in four cities nationwide: Akron, Philadelphia, Miami and Wichita. Eric Liu is the nonprofit’s founder. He says it’s all part of the effort to leave behind the “eat your vegetables” attitude toward voting, and to return to the raucous community celebrations that were once key part of Election Day.

Local joy in an age of nasty national politics

 “So much of what is going on in national politics is so divisive right now and it is turning so many people off. And part of what we’re trying to do here is restore the sense of place and community and that local feeling of, ‘Hey, however you’re going to vote in national elections, just showing up to vote is what is means to be a citizen of Akron.”

Voter excitement ideas
Ideas include street festivals, precinct competitions and even a "voting thermometer" filled with Jello.

Citizen University will pick five projects in each city to get up to $3,600. Liu acknowledges it’s not a huge amount, but says – combined with community energy -- it can generate a lot of joy around voting. The Knight Foundation is funding the efforts.