Attention voters: do your homework and be ready

The League of Women Voters has a long history of educating voters, registering voters and encouraging people to vote. The Marietta/Washington County League of Women Voters wants to inform the voters of Ohio that you must be registered to vote by Monday, April 7, to vote in the May 6 primary election and that early voting has begun. We also wanted to remind you that the Board of Elections has moved to 204 Davis Ave. below Marietta High School.

Two bills were passed by the Ohio legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kasich changing some of Ohio’s voting laws.

SB 238

Reduction of the mandatory number of voting machines at the polls.

Elimination of “Golden Week”, the period when persons can both register to vote and cast an in-person absentee ballot.

Elimination of Sunday voting, the reduction of evening hours and provision of only two Saturdays to cast early in-person ballots.

And SB 205

Prohibition of individual county boards of elections to send out unsolicited absentee ballots.

Prohibits election officials from helping voters with their absentee ballot if help is needed.

The League of Women Voters does not support these changes to the voting laws of Ohio. In fact, after the long lines and long waits in the 2004 election, the League of Women Voters joined many concerned citizens and groups in lobbying for changes. These changes came in the form of “Golden Week”, Sunday voting, longer hours and more days for early voting and absentee ballots being sent out from election boards. These changes really helped expedite voting and allowed more people to vote in the 2008 election. This was good for a democracy, government by the people.

Now the Ohio legislature has erased those improvements. How did our representatives vote, Rep. Phillips, no (opposed changes) on SB 205 and SB 238, Rep. Thompson, yes (supported changes) on SB 205 and SB 238 (co-sponsor). Our state senator, Sen. Gentile voted no on SB 205 and SB 238. When you see your representative or senator, ask why he/she voted as he/she did. Do some homework for the election in November. Don’t forget to vote May 6.

Betsy Cook, member

The League of Women Voters