Fall checklist: Verify your voting status

Posted Oct. 2, 2019 by

It’s October. You know, pumpkin lattes and scary decorations galore. It also means it’s time to check the status of your voter registration for the upcoming general election on Nov. 5. Ohio’s deadline to register to vote is coming up next Monday, Oct. 7.

And, you know what’s really scary? Ohio’s Secretary of State recently purged 183,000 voters from its rolls. According to news outlets, most of those Ohio voters purged last month simply hadn't cast ballots in recent years. It wasn't because they moved or passed away!

While union households typically make a strong showing at the ballot box, we encourage you to check the status of your voter registration, and those of your family members this week before the Oct. 7 deadline. Go to the SOS voter verification website to search and make sure your registration is up-to-date.

Sure, this November election isn’t as high-profile as some. But that doesn’t make this Election Day any less important.

In reality, the more local an election is, the more important it should be. Local elected officials—mayors, city council members, school board members and judges, to name a few—make decisions that affect the quality of life for all of us. They impact zoning, taxation, school funding and the essential services provided by public employee union members. Find your Nov. 5 sample ballot HERE.

“The most important activism is grassroots activism––at the local level,” said OCSEA President Chris Mabe. “As is the case in labor activism, getting involved locally in our union chapters to make an impact, we must also make a concerted effort to be mindful of and get involved in local politics and community issues. This is where we can have the greatest impact about how services are provided, how funds are allocated in our towns, how our schools are run, how our streets are maintained, and so on and so on,” he said.

Local officials also have influence over issues like raises, benefits and workers’ voices and bargaining power in the workplace for local public employees, including hundreds of OCSEA members throughout Ohio communities. If you recall a few years ago, trustees in the small town of West Chester, Ohio near Cincinnati planned to institute a “Right to Work” designation for the township. Thanks to the vocal opposition of labor (and lots and lots of protests), the plan was soundly defeated. But that goes to show you just how important it is to elect local officials that support workers, their families and their unions.

So, this election, make sure––just like with every election–– that you do your homework, know the issues and support pro-worker causes and candidates up and down the ballot. “Getting union members to the ballot box is key, whether it’s a high profile federal election, a statewide issue that impacts public work or local elections that shape the communities we call home,” said Mabe.