A critical battleground state for Democrats at the national level, Ohio is also on the front lines of the national assault on voting rights.
In Ohio, the Republican-dominated state legislature passed a 2014 law that eliminates the first week of early voting in the state. Previously, Ohio voters had same-day voter registration during that early voting week, so they were allowed to register and cast a ballot on the same day.
The current Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted also issued a directive further cutting early voting by eliminating all voting hours during evenings, Sundays and the Monday before Election Day.
In the 2012 election, more than 157,000 Ohioans voted on the days that have now been cut. A disproportionately high percentage of those affected are low-income voters, and many are also African-American.
Committed to open voting, State Senator Nina Turner is challenging Husted. As the assault on voting rights ramped up in Ohio, Turner became an outspoken advocate for defending ballot access in Ohio and a leading proponent for protecting voting rights nationally.
In the Ohio State Legislature, Turner worked to defeat a bill limiting collective bargaining, and supported protecting women’s health-care freedom and expanding voting rights. She has been named a Legislative Champion for Children, a Friend of Labor by the Coalition of Labor Union Women, named as the 2011 State Senator of the Year by The Nation, and honored by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation with the Drum Major for Justice Award.
Why We Like Her:
Turner says good polices don’t start in the legislature. Instead, they start at the ballot box. That’s why she has devoted her career to protecting voting rights and expanding ballot access.
“The policies being pushed right now are immoral. People are being faced with obstacles to thwart their access to vote,” said Turner.
“The policies being used today might not be barking dogs or water hoses. It’s a different battle but the same war.”