It was disappointing to learn the voter turnout for the May primary election was the lowest it has been in decades. This is cause for alarm. First, because people should care who is running for office, and should take advantage of opportunities to shape our government. Second, because it will be even harder to cast a ballot this fall.
For the past year, Republicans in Columbus have been working overtime to make it harder for us to vote. Secretary of State Jon Husted decided unilaterally to end early voting on Sundays and on most evenings -- times that are actually convenient for most voters. Meanwhile, his friends in the legislature passed bills to shorten the early voting period and create overly technical reasons to throw our valid ballots. They have created an atmosphere that says "We don't want your vote."
Although some of these new restrictions were delayed until just days ago, they will be in full effect this fall. If participation in May's election was historically low, more restrictions will not encourage a different outcome.
If our public officials want to actually encourage Ohioans to come out and vote, they shouldn't be making it harder to do so.
We must protect voting rights for all.
W. Frank Hairston, Ravenna Township