Federation Pushes for Safer Voting During COVID-19
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by SKYLAR DUBELKO | STAFF REPORTER
The Jewish Federation of Cleveland in Beachwood has debuted an action alert to make voting safe and accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aimed at the Ohio Senate, which is considering two bills – HB 680 and SB 191 – impacting how accessible voting will be during the November general election, the action alert insists protective measures be taken to promote healthy election day polling places, expand in-person early voting, enhance vote-by-mail efforts and ensure voter registration accessibility.
But according to the Federation, achieving this will require a more comprehensive voter outreach and education effort.
“We believe that voting should be as accessible to the whole community during the pandemic than if there was no pandemic,” said Jeremy Paris, chair of the voting rights task force of the Federation’s community relations committee. “Ohioans should be able to exercise their right to vote without putting their health at risk or creating an elevated risk for their neighbors and election workers.”
Paris said the mechanics of voting-related decisions take months to get in place.
“So it’s not too early,” Paris said. “If anything it’s just on time to get it done.”
Paris emphasized accessible voting as a nonpartisan issue. He said the Federation is urging citizens to call or email state senators and members of the committee to ask them to include measures, which can be found at bit.ly/2Z17Uhh.
“The work to ensure voting doesn’t stop when these bills are done, it’s actually just getting started,” Paris said. “That’s why we’re going to continue to find ways to work with partners and (advocates so) that we, hopefully, can have a very successful election day where everybody who should be able to vote is able to vote.”