COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH) – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announce a new initiative Monday to get people registered to vote and volunteering to work the polls.
“We want to make certain that there are no barriers, there are no restrictions in terms of people having the right to vote,” said State Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus).
Called “Styling for Democracy. Now Vote!,” the new campaign partners barbershops, salons and schools with the Secretary of State’s office to get people to the polls on Election Day.
The initiative was announced at A Cut Above the Rest in Columbus, where owner Al Edmonson has already helped around 2,000 people register to vote and another 75 to volunteer at the polls. He said it’s an issue that has become dear to him.
“We want to use our networks to make sure that our community, wherever we are, that we get people in our community registered to vote,” said Edmonson.
The idea to put resources into barbershops and salons came partially from the Ohio Secretary of State Diversity and Empowerment Council, which believes the initiative, along with working with churches, will get more Black voters registered this year.
“Two locations people of color go to almost every week. If my pastor tells me that it’s safe to vote, that it’s safe to be a poll worker, then I believe my pastor. If my barber tells me that it’s safe to go vote and it’s safe to work the poll, then I believe him,” said Zack Reed, Minority Affairs Coordinator.
LaRose’s office has partnered with 25 barber colleges and salon schools and are sending resources to 110 schools across the state.
Barbershops and salons looking to join the new initiative can contact Zack Reed at ZReed@OhioSOS.gov.
The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5 and it can be done online at VoteOhio.gov.