Local Effort to Bring Out the Vote Helped Crush Issue 1

The Truth Staff

Ohio Republicans have blamed a host of reasons for their failure to pass Issue 1 and quiet the voice of the voters in the Buckeye State. They have said that outside money worked against them – even though their own campaign was financed by outside-the-state monies. They have said they didn’t have enough time to get their effort going – even though they proposed the special election and set the date for it. Ohio Senate president Matt Huffman whined that his side didn’t have “all hands on deck.” Which may have been true.

Certainly, the side opposing the passage of Issue 1 did have “all hands on deck,” particularly in this local, Lucas County area.

The Ohio Unity Coalition, under the guidance of CEO Petee Talley, is organized across the state in the major cities. Their work is “to bolster the civic participation of Black voters who continue to face obstacles due to extreme politicians who aim to restrict certain voters in Ohio,” said Talley in a recent interview with The Truth.

Talley and her colleagues, along with allies such as the League of Women Voters, Democratic elected officials around the state and locally worked diligently in the weeks leading up to the election to get voters out, particularly in the areas in which voters typically sit out primary elections.

In Toledo, as Talley explained, her focus was on inner city wards – 4, 8, 10, 13, 14 – typically areas where the percentage of registered voters who turn out for primary elections can be in the teens.

Talley also had some national assistance in this election cycle. Black Voters Matter sent one of their buses and staff into the area on election day.

Alethea Bonello arrived from Atlanta, GA. “We brought the Blackest bus in America to encourage Black voters to come out,” she said during one of their frequent stops in Smith Park. All day on Election Day, Bonello and company spoke with voters of all ages to hand out literature, help them find their polling places and inform them of what Issue 1 was all about.