Democrats raise issue of voter suppression - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Democrats raise issue of voter suppression

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YOUGNSTOWN, Ohio - Whether or not voters in Ohio will have up until the last three days before the November 6th election to cast early ballots hinges on an appeal in federal court.

While a federal judge made a ruling that restored voting on those days, Secretary of State Jon Husted is challenging it.

Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement, was joined by state senators Joe Schiavoni and Nina Turner of Cleveland and Representative Ron Gerberry in front of the Mahoning Board of Elections. They believe the latest litigation is just part of the voter suppression that is going on in battleground Ohio and across the country.

Turner said, "And for what folks have had to go through in this country to earn the right to vote, especially African Americans and women and other groups of color, to have to dodge now the tricks and the traps of one party who wants to decide, who wants to rig the election, is totally unacceptable."

Chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party, Mark Munroe, says voting is accessible to Ohioans now more than ever before.

"When I first joined the board of elections you could vote for 12 hours and you practically had to have a doctor's excuse to get an absentee ballot. Then we went to 13 hours of voting and no-fault absentee voting and today it's easier than ever," Munroe said.

But Congressman Lewis, who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and fought for the right for African Americans to vote, is concerned that everything he fought for is diminishing. "We have come a distance. We have made some progress. But you're right; there is an attempt to take us back. And we cannot and will not go back."

Ohio's senate caucus will hold a sleep out on October 1st at boards of elections across the state on the eve of early voting which begins October 2nd. The last day to register to vote is October 9th.

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