Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty holds first virtual Voting Rights and Equal Justice Forum

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A central Ohio Congresswoman is talking voting rights, as nearby states have their election day and face accusations of voter suppression.

Kentucky officials drastically lowered the number of polling locations ahead of their election day, which critics believe may end up deterring some voters. 

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty held her first virtual Voting Rights and Equal Justice Forum on Tuesday night. During the forum, Rep. Beatty and advocates discussed ways to make Ohio’s next election fair and just for every voter.

“I am calling it an anti-voter suppression movement,” Congresswoman Beatty said.

The forum included a panel of experts who discussed ways to streamline the voting process in Ohio and ways to make voting easier, especially as more people vote by mail in the age of COVID-19.

“There is no reason we should not be able to mail everyone a ballot with pre-paid postage, every eligible voter,” said Kyle Strickland, a legal analyst with Kirwan Institute for Study of Race and Ethnicity.

Advocates shined a light on legislation like Senate Bill 191, which would allow online absentee ballot applications.

“We bank online, we do everything online,” said Brandi Slaughter with NAACP Columbus. “It’s crazy in this day and time we can’t handle some of our basic civic things online.”

Beatty plans to hold more forums before the November general election.

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