Speaking to about 60 people at the Rockdale Baptist Church in Avondale, the Rev. Jesse Jackson talked about the many “schemes” used to disenfranchise voters while encouraging Cincinnatians to register to vote and take advantage of Ohio’s early voting days.
“Dealing in this state, for example, you think so much about the painful days in the deep South — the overt schemes to deny the right to vote,” Jackson said on Oct. 9, the last day to register to vote in Ohio.
“We saw Ohio as a kind of beacon of light, the beacon of hope once we ran across the river coming north.
Jackson’s comments came on the same day Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to allow early in-person voting on the three days before Election Day.
The three days had previously only applied to military personnel and their families.
Republicans like Husted have cited cost as the reason to not allow in-person voting on the three days before the election. But in an Aug. 19 email to The Columbus Dispatch, Franklin County Republican Party chairman Doug Preisse said, “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.”
Jackson said such voter restrictions undermine the purpose of democracy.
“Open access, free, transparent voting makes democracy real,” he said.
Jackson also touted President Obama’s accomplishments in his first term and urged those assembled to give him a second.