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Government & Politics

Ohio Is One of Nine States That Will Be Part of a Voter Protection Effort By Lawyers And Clergy

The Rev. Jim Wallis
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
The Rev. Jim Wallis, a coordinator of Lawyers and Collars in Ohio, says clergy members and attorneys work alongside each other at polling locations to help resolve issues as people vote.

Ohio is one of nine states that is part of an initiative between lawyers and clergy members to help voters cast their ballots on Election Day. 

The Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of the online publication Sojourners, is one of the coordinators of Lawyers and Collars, an Election Day effort that will have clergy members working alongside lawyers to help deal with problems that might arise when Ohioans try to cast their ballots. 

“I think the presence of clergy can be a protective, calming, clarifying and peacemaking initiative because everybody should have access to voting," Wallis said.

He says they’ll focus on areas where minorities, in particular, can find circumstances that make it difficult to vote. And while similar programs have been conducted before, with the high turnout and potential problems that are possible, Wallis says this initiative will prove more important than ever. He compares this election to the one he witnessed in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was voted in as the first elected president in South Africa.
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