Photo Essay

  • Todd Chapman, center, signs a petition at Dickie’s Barbershop in Cincinnati on Saturday, June 21, 2014. Voting rights advocates and African-American leaders are trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot for November, which would enshrine voting rights into the state Constitution. 
  • Nancy Brewer, a supporter of the Ohio Voters Bill of Rights, ask for signatures at Anderson Farmers’ Market in Cincinnati on June 21, 2014. 
  • Supporters of the Ohio Voters Bill of Rights listen to speakers at a rally before a petition drive in Cincinnati on June 21, 2014. 
  • Stephanie Stapleton signs a petition at Dickie’s Barbershop in Cincinnati on June 21, 2014.
  • Ohio State Rep. Alicia Reece, center, and her legislative aide Christian Gillikin, left, eat lunch at Pleasant Ridge Chili in Cincinnati on June 21, 2014.
  • Marjorie Moseley points to someone in the crowd as she gets people to sign the petition at Radio One Old School 100.3’s Jammin’ in the Park in Cincinnati on June 21, 2014. 
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Hitting the pavement for voting rights

Updated

On a steaming hot recent Saturday in Cincinnati, voting rights supporters took their issue to the streets—not to mention the barber shops, farmer’s markets, and concerts. They were working to gather signatures for a Voters Bill of Rights, which aims to put an end to years of Republican efforts to restrict the vote by enshrining the right to franchise in Ohio’s constitution. The campaign’s founder, state Rep. Alicia Reece, said she’d tried to use her position in the state legislature to expand access to the ballot, but found herself stymied by Republican majorities. So Reece, the child of civil rights activists, went back to her roots.  “I tried to work on the inside,” she explained. “Now, I had to go outside, and get organizing a people’s movement.”