Council Invests $280,000 in Nonpartisan Voter Education
[COLUMBUS, OH] On Monday, October 22, 2018, Columbus City Council approved ordinance 2977-2018 to authorize $280,000 for a nonpartisan voter education program ahead of the November 6, general election. The legislation enters into a contract agreement with Strategic Public Partners LLC for nonpartisan consulting services related to early voting education, information and associated public service announcements.
“In a time when voter suppression is top of mind for voters in this country, I think I speak for this entire Council when I say that we should be empowering voters, not suppressing them,” said Council President Shannon Hardin.
Since 2006, the Franklin County Board of Elections voted, in a bipartisan manner to provide party neutral information about early voting. This information assists new residents and new voters as they learn about our voting system, including opportunities to vote early in person or by mail.
“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.”
This action provides nonpartisan information to Columbus and Franklin County voters about their fundamental voting rights, and it goes into effect immediately upon receiving Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s signature.
“Nonpartisan 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.”
In October 2018, the Franklin County Board of Elections considered a proposal to expend $280,000 for general election public service announcements. As in previous years, the Board’s proposal would have utilized bipartisan media consultants to implement public service announcements. However, for the first time in over a decade, a tie vote at the Franklin County Board of Elections resulted in the inability of the program to move forward.
To learn more about early vote opportunities in Franklin County, visit vote.franklincountyohio.gov. For statewide information, visit Vote411.org.