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Voter Registration Deadline Looms in the Buckeye State

IMAGE: Voter Registration Form. Courtesy Secretary of State's Office.
IMAGE: Voter Registration Form. Courtesy Secretary of State's Office.
September 25, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio - With just two weeks until deadline, time is short for Ohioans who need to register to vote in the November 6 election. Today is National Voter Registration Day, and across the state efforts are underway to ensure all those who are eligible to vote make it to the polls in November.

The Voter Participation Center is among the organizations trying to reach out to the more than 2.8 million eligible but unregistered Ohioans. Chief Operating Officer Gail Kitch says they're targeting specific groups.

"Unmarried women, persons of color and young people under the age of 30 are a disproportionate number of those who are unregistered, so in Ohio 1,490,000 or so were not registered at the beginning of 2012."

Several lawsuits regarding early voting, alleged ineligible voters and how provisional ballots are counted are under review in federal courts in the state.

Mike Brickner, director of communications and public policy with the ACLU of Ohio, says that's why, besides helping citizens get registered, they are also educating voters regarding their rights when they go to the polls.

"Ohioans are going to be confused and not know when they are supposed to go vote, what they are supposed to have when they go vote. So we want to make sure that people are as empowered as possible."

Early voting begins October 2 and the deadline to register to vote is October 9. National Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.

The Secretary of State is also allowing people to change their voter registration online, which Brickner says is great news for the state. He says as people's lives get busy, many don't realize that they need to update information until it's too late.

"Being able to change that information online is more responsive to the needs of Ohioans and to where the future of voting is going. Where we would like to see that expand even more is to allow people to register online in the first place."

Other groups working to educate voters and increase participation the state include OhioVotes, The NAACP, the League of Women Voters of Ohio and Rock the Vote.

Voting information is available through local county boards of election and at the Secretary of State's website,

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH