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Take Your Souls to the Polls: Voting Early in Ohio

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March 6, 2012

It’s Super Tuesday. But many Ohio voters have already cast their ballots. Ohio is one of the states that allows early voting. It’s also one of the states — more than 30 — that introduced legislation to limit voting after record turnouts in the 2008 election.

H.B. 194 would cut Ohio’s early voting period by more than half, and would prohibit voting on the last Sunday before Election Day.

That last is especially important to the African-American community. During the 2008 presidential elections, many African-American churches took advantage of early voting to promote ‘take your souls to the polls’— programs that encouraged voting by taking church members to vote directly from Sunday services.

Opponents of the law worry that if it goes into effect, H.B. 194 will make it difficult for many in Ohio to vote, particularly those African-Americans who got to the polls with the help of their churches.

The law still hasn’t gone into effect, though, and African-American church leaders and others are already getting ready to revive the ‘take your souls to the polls’ campaign.

Here, three prominent pastors talk about why voting, and especially early voting, is so important to their communities.

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