A local group working to write a Voter Bill of Rights into the Ohio Constitution will offer a free “orientation and training session” April 23 for anyone interested in learning more or helping collect the signatures needed to put the issue on the November ballot.
The session is set for 6-8 p.m. April 23 at the Collingwood Arts Center, 2413 Collingwood Blvd.
Attendees will learn about the specifics of the bill from a nonpartisan perspective and from a legal standpoint as well as learn the requirements for collecting signatures, said Pastor Donald Perryman of Center of Hope Community Baptist Church, a member of the Lucas County coordinating committee that organized the training. Petition forms will also be available, he said.
Supporters of the amendment have until July 2 to gather 385,000 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters in order to put the measure to the vote on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The amendment would, among other things, provide more options for voter identification at the polls, set minimum days and hours for early voting, authorize electronic voter registration and more.
“Almost every week, there’s some legislation introduced that attacks voting rights in Ohio,” Perryman said. “What we’re trying to do is bring a collaboration together of people who are just not going to take it anymore. We want to take it out of the hands of a few politicians in Columbus and put it back in the power of the people by putting it back in the Ohio Constitution.”
No registration is necessary, Perryman said, and everyone is welcome.
“All colors, all ethnic origins, gay and straight, rich and poor, black and white, young and old — all of us working together is what democracy is all about,” Perryman said. “This type of movement we’re organizing, this is really appropriate for young people, even if they can’t vote. I think we’re making history. It’s a history lesson and young people should be a part of that.”
Toledo City Councilwoman Lindsay Webb is among those planning to attend.
For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.