ICYMI: Cleveland Browns Offensive Tackle Chris Hubbard Blasts GOP Anti-Voter Bill
May 21, 2021
In Case You Missed It, Cleveland Browns Offensive Tackle Chris Hubbard wrote an op-ed for Cleveland.com today to blast anti-voter legislation recently introduced by statehouse Republicans. In his op-ed, Hubbard points out that the current anti-voter is just the latest effort by Republicans to chip away at Ohioans’ right to vote and includes provisions that are especially harmful to voters of color. Hubbard also points out that the legislation is a solution in search of a problem as even Republicans have admitted that there is no extensive evidence of widespread voter fraud in Ohio.
“Ohio lawmakers who are promoting HB 294 are not trying to change the state’s elections system because it is broken. They are trying to rig it so that they can win future elections and hold onto power. We need to take a stand and protect what we have fought so hard to achieve — our right to be heard; our right to be counted; our right to the full privileges of citizenship in our democracy,” writes Hubbard.
The GOP anti-voter bill includes a number of provisions that take Ohio backward in the fight for voting rights, including the elimination of a day of early voting, severe restrictions on dropboxes and a requirement for two forms of ID to request an absentee ballot. Read more HERE.
Read Chris Hubbard’s op-ed in Cleveland.com HERE and more below:
- For some people, the only way to win is to change the rules of the game.
- This tactic is not new in the world of politics, either, when it comes to the right to vote. Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill to roll back the tide of 2020′s high voter turnout: House Bill 294. The bill targets early voting and voting by mail.
- HB 294 would dramatically shrink the number of early and vote-by-mail voters by shortening the window for requesting absentee ballots; limiting the number of drop boxes for these ballots to just one location per county; reducing the amount of time to access drop boxes from 30 to 10 days; and eliminating in-person voting on the day before the election.
- Of course, a disproportionate number of people who experience these multiple and intersecting barriers are people of color.
- Ohio lawmakers seeking to restrict early and absentee voting will not admit that they are trying to disenfranchise Black and brown voters. Just like lawmakers in some states in 1896, 1940 and 1965 would not say that the grandfather clauses, literacy tests, poll taxes, armed patrols, and snarling dogs were intended to disenfranchise Black voters. They will say that these rule changes are meant to protect the integrity of the elections process. The rationale would be more convincing if there were actually a problem with the security of elections that needed solving.
- We know today that this justification is just a thinly veiled guise to keep Black people away from the ballot box. Absentee voting poses no credible threat to the integrity of Ohio’s elections. In fact, according to the state’s elections chief, Ohio’s mail-voting system operated successfully in 2020, with no evidence of widespread election fraud.
- Ohio lawmakers who are promoting HB 294 are not trying to change the state’s elections system because it is broken. They are trying to rig it so that they can win future elections and hold onto power. We need to take a stand and protect what we have fought so hard to achieve — our right to be heard; our right to be counted; our right to the full privileges of citizenship in our democracy.