COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The next time you go to your favorite bar or brewery, you might see a sticker or tag on your drink from Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
LaRose is partnering with more than 100 breweries and distilleries across the state. While it may seem like an odd pairing, LaRose said it is an age-old tradition.
“It’s a long held American tradition, goes back to the founding of our country really, to talk about politics over your favorite drink,” LaRose said.
Red, white and blue stickers with the tag, “Every Vote Counts” has been placed on liquor bottles, beer cans and wine bottles. This is all part of LaRose’s “Raise a Glass to Democracy” campaign, to increase voter registration.
“Elections work best when the diverse voices of Ohioans are heard,” LaRose said.
Watershed Distillery in Columbus is just one of the more than one hundred bars helping LaRose get his message out there.
“People may not always agree on what the best craft beer is, just like politics they may not always agree,” CEO of Watershed Distillery Greg Lehman said. “But we’re stronger as a community, we’re better represented as a community if we’re all active in voting.”
Lehman said, in 2020 when he heard of this program with craft breweries, he was eager for it to be extended to distilleries too.
“Voting is always going to be important,” Lehman said. “Raising the participation is something we will always be excited about.”
LaRose said in 2020, when they had around 50 participating breweries, Ohio exceeded more than 8,000,000 registered voters. This year, with breweries, wineries and distilleries in the mix, he said he’s excited to see how many people register.
“We want this sticker that says, ‘every vote counts’ in the hands of Ohio consumers so they know they can register to vote,” LaRose said.
“A community is made stronger when people share their voice, when they participate in local government,” Lehman said.
November’s election will decide several state and local races and issues, including races for governor and U.S. senate.
The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 11. Register to vote online here.
If you are a brewery, distillery or winery owner who is interested in participating in the “Raise a Glass to Democracy,” campaign, request labels here.