With strong voter turnout, Africans Americans have a chance to make history in Ohio this year by Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

With strong voter turnout, Africans Americans have a chance to make history in Ohio this year

By Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

The right to vote is essential to the many rights, liberties and freedoms we all hold so dear as Americans. We need to be active participants in order to make our democracy work for us.

This is why I believe every eligible person should vote in every election. It’s the only way we can get the representation we deserve.

In 2018, we have a tremendous opportunity not only to shape the future of our state for many years to come but also to send a message to the rest of America and the world.

On Nov. 6, 2018, we have the chance to declare that we reject the politics of division, corruption and chaos we are seeing in America today, and that we embrace fairness, and inclusion, and opportunity for everybody.

If we can turn Ohio blue, retake the governorship, win Ohio’s other four statewide offices, re-elect U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, and make gains at the Ohio Statehouse and in Congress, it will send a signal that Ohio is a state that will take the lead and make change happen.

This is in our hands. It cannot happen without you — your hard work, your dedication, your voice being heard at the ballot box. But I’m going to ask you for a little more than that. I’m going to ask you to help make sure others are making their voices heard as well.

Early voting in Ohio starts Oct. 10. Over the four weeks between then and Election Day, you can cast your ballot and bring your friends and neighbors, your aunts and uncles, your brothers and sisters to cast theirs, too.

Here’s why we all need to be doing that:

In 2016, 64 percent of currently registered African-Americans in Ohio voted, but in 2014, only 26 percent of currently registered African-Americans voted in Ohio.

But there are 1,074,705 African-Americans of voting age in our state, and the power we share together, working together, lifting our voices as one, can transform our state and our lives. We have this power; we only must use it.

If we set a goal of 70 percent of African-Americans registering to vote, that would require 60,997 newly registered African-Americans statewide.

If we set a goal of 50 percent of African-Americans participating in the 2018 election, that would require 345,649 African-Americans to vote.

So please visit IWillVote.com to check the status of your registration, update it if need be, and make a plan to cast your ballot and make your voice heard this election. Then go out and get your friends and family to do the same.

The momentum is on our side, and we can celebrate a great triumph over the forces of ill-intent in November if only we put in the effort, stand hand-in-hand, lock together arm-in-arm, and make our voices heard.