Mayor Andrew J. Ginther Proposes City Funding For Nonpartisan Voter Education
Voters will continue to receive nonpartisan information about early
voting and the general election on November 6th thanks to funding
proposed by Mayor Andrew J. Ginther on Monday. Since 2004, the bipartisan Franklin
County Board of Elections has funded important voter education, but the funding
was stopped this year because of a partisan tie vote at the board of elections.
information about voting is critical to our democracy now more than ever,”
said Mayor Ginther. “Rather than engaging in partisan bickering about basic
voter education, I am committed to funding nonpartisan information about
candidates and issues, as well as basic information about where to vote.”
According to a memorandum from City Attorney Zach Klein, Columbus has
the authority as a home rule city to pay for ads promoting nonpartisan early
vote and Election Day information. The city’s funding, which goes to Republican
and Democratic media firms, will support the same budget and content proposed
by the board of elections for 2018. The board unanimously approved the same ad
and similar budget in 2016.
Mayor Ginther proposed $280,000 today for production, television, radio
and digital media to inform Columbus voters about early voting options.
Columbus City Council will take up the emergency legislation tonight at the
“It is baffling to see the Board of Elections fail to provide basic
voter education, a cornerstone of their mission for the citizens of Franklin
County,” said Council President Shannon Hardin.
“Columbus is stepping up to educate and encourage residents to know
their rights and know where they can vote.”
After the board of elections failed to approve funding on a party line
vote, Franklin County Commissioners attempted to fund the nonpartisan voter
information. They were opposed by the Franklin County Prosecutor, Franklin
County Auditor and State Auditor, who alleged the commission lacks the
authority to fund the ads.
“Our democracy is stronger when everyone has nonpartisan information
about our elections, including information on early and absentee voting
options,” said Barb Hykes, president of the League of Women Voters of
Metropolitan Columbus. ”The League of Women Voters applauds Mayor Ginther and
the City of Columbus for funding the same early vote public announcements that
voters have received for over a decade.”
To learn more about early vote opportunities in Franklin County, visit vote.franklincountyohio.gov.
For statewide information, visit Vote411.org.