Despite some officials’ assurances, Ohio’s new early voting hours do nothing to enhance our election system (“Ample time,” February 27). What’s worse, they seem to completely ignore the reality of most working Ohioans’ lives.
The job of our elected officials is to expand access to the ballot box, yet Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s schedule eliminates nearly all of the popular evening and Sunday early voting hours that served the state so well in past elections.
This was coupled with shortening the overall number of days for the early voting period, signaling a dramatic reduction in early voting opportunities.
Many working Ohioans do not have flexible work schedules or have child care needs that make it nearly impossible to vote during the normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday — much less on Election Day. Weekend and evening hours are vital for these voters to have the most opportunities possible.
Robust opportunities for early voting have been extremely successful in Ohio and have minimized the problems that marred elections in the early 2000s. Weekend and evening hours in particular have been especially popular among African-American voters with successful “Souls to the Polls” programs that ushered voters directly from church to vote on Sundays.
A recent American Civil Liberties Union study found that African-Americans in Cuyahoga County were 20 times more likely to vote early in person than white voters.
Ohio could be the national leader in access to the ballot. Instead, we are in a race to the bottom of the heap and justifying our regression by pointing out that we are still better than some other states. Shouldn’t we be aspiring to more?
Director of Communications and Public Policy
ACLU of Ohio
Critics show their intolerance
Recent letters have featured whiney protests about the guest speaker (Laura Ingraham) at Akron General’s centennial event. They point to a number of depressing signs, both for the writers and for Akron.
For the writers, it was just so wrong to invite a personality who doesn’t extoll the popularity of the Affordable Care Act. Before being convinced of its merits, they should have checked sources other than Sens. Harry Reid and Sherrod Brown.
Second, these letters displayed a high level of adherence to progressive dogma, characterized by intolerance for, and denigration of, all those who don’t sing the party songs.
It’s likely that these folks are supportive of diversity, but only under the condition that they decide who represents the diverse.
Can’t a private organization choose its speakers without feeling pangs of a deficiency of political correctness? Look at the bright side: Having Fox News available offers all a chance at being fair by declaring they listen to both sides of the news.
And take comfort, at the end of the day, folks can always revert to the superior media resource that spins their favorite creed.
Minimum wage, maximum payback
I believe that the real reason for the government push for an increased minimum wage is to pay back the unions that helped put certain people into office.
The wage hikes are beneficial to unions because increases restrict the ability of businesses to hire low-skilled workers who might gladly work for lower wages in order to gain experience.
Union members then face less competition from workers who might threaten their jobs. Some union contracts stipulate that following a minimum-wage increase, the union and the employer must reopen wage talks.
Of the work force, 1 percent, or 1.5 million people, work for minimum wage. This year, a full-time, minimum-wage worker will make 24 percent more than the federal poverty level. One-third either dropped out of high school or never attended. Fifty-one percent work 29 or fewer hours per week. Thirty-one percent are teenagers.
When I was young, I worked one full-time job, one part-time job, sold products from my home and tended bar on weekends until I could pay for more schooling to get a better-paying job.
As an employer, I am not paying self-sustaining wages to someone unable to decipher instructions on the job or who works with no motivation to improve their lot in life.
With higher wages comes the responsibility of being a better worker. Prospective workers are free to not accept those wages, relocate to a better job market or take advantage of the educational system we all pay for to improve themselves.