New Ohio voter ID requirements put out-of-state college students “between a rock and a hard place” - Ohio Capital Journal
A new law changing voting ID requirements makes it more challenging for out-of-state college students to vote. House Bill 458 requires a photo ID to vote — meaning an unexpired Ohio driver’s license, a state ID card, U.S. passport or military card — so out-of-state college students must get an Ohio issued ID card if they want to vote in Ohio. But getting an Ohio issued ID card would invalidate their driver’s license in another state. - Ohio Capital Journal
How is Ohio Unity Coalition mobilizing Ohio college students to register and vote using mostly free apps?
- ChatGPT: Identify issues to motivate Ohio college students to vote and suggest outreach messages
- Lumen5: Create short videos shared on social media to encourage students to learn more
- Chatbots: Created with Twilio to automatically collect their contact information and provide voting related info
- VoteRiders: Service to help get a voter ID
Ohio Unity Coalition used ChatGPT to identify issues that would motivate students to get politically involved. Simply enter what you're looking for and ChatGPT provides suggestions which you can refine by refining your search terms. The ChatGPT suggestions were combined with their local understanding to pick reducing police violence as an issue to mobilize voters.
[Prompt] "What issues matter to Ohio College students?"
[ChatGPT] There are many issues that matter to Ohio college students, but here are a few that may be particularly relevant:
Campus safety: Safety is a top priority for college students, and there have been several high-profile incidents of violence and sexual assault on Ohio campuses in recent years. Students are pushing for greater safety measures, including better lighting, increased police presence, and more resources for victims of violence. See all five ChatGPT suggestions here.
[Prompt] "What are some urgent appeals to Ohio college students to encourage them to register to vote?"
[ChatGPT] "Act Now: Register to Vote in Ohio and Take a Stand Against Police Violence". See all ten GPT suggestions here.
Outreach with video on social media
A 14 second video was created with the free Lumen5 app using the messaging suggested by ChatGPT. Lumen5 includes a large collection of professionally made video clips and soundtracks which can be incorporated into your video and overlaid with your messages. That is how this video was created in a few minutes. Videos can be downloaded from Lumen5 and posted one social media or uploaded to YouTube.
The video encourages students to register and vote by texting 'ohiounity' to 202-858-0303. This text message directs respondents to a chatbot that collects information from them and provides information from VoteRiders on how to make sure they have a valid Voter ID.
Ohio Unity Coalition flyer encouraging voter participation
Chatbot for voter enablement
Texting 'ohiounity' or scanning the QR code (created with the free QR Code Generator app) lead you to a chatbot which collects information (name, phone number, email, college) and provides you information from VoteRiders on valid forms of Voter ID in Ohio and details on the Ohio Unity Coalition. Using a chatbot allows the coalition to collect information about the respondents which would otherwise not be available if they were sent directly to a website. The chatbot was designed in an hour with Twilio and can handle any number of inquiries at the same time. Learn more about using chatbots for voter enablement here.
Ohio Unity Coalition
The Ohio Unity Coalition is the state affiliate of the national Unity Voter Empowerment Campaign convened by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP). The Unity Campaign works nationally with APRI, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Cost of Freedom Project, Black Youth Vote, and other groups to ensure that Black voters are prepared for elections.
"At the banquet table of nature there are no reserved seats. You get what can take, and you keep what you can hold. If you can’t take anything, you won’t get anything, and if you can’t hold anything, you won’t keep anything. And you can’t take anything without organization." - A. Philip Randolph, Labor Leader
Ohio voter suppression targets young voters
“Out-of-state college students are really hampered by this bill because the structure of this bill and the photo ID requirements for voting in person really puts out-of-state college students between a rock and a hard place,” said ACLU Ohio Deputy Policy Director Collin Marozzi. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB 458, originally introduced by State Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp. in October 2021, into law on Jan. 6 and it will go into effect on April 7. This has been called one of the most restrictive voter-ID laws in the country.
The new law limits counties to one ballot drop box, shortens the window to request absentee ballot to one week before the election and absentee ballots must be received four days after Election Day. The law also mandates citizenship status on IDs and excludes county-issued veterans’ identification and college IDs from the list of IDs one can use to vote." - Ohio Capital Journal
Ohio police shoot Jayland Walker, unarmed Black man dozens of times
A special grand jury in Ohio declined to indict the Akron police officers who shot a 25-year-old Black man dozens of times, killing him, after a car chase and foot chase last year. Eight police officers fired a total of 94 shots at Walker within 6.7 seconds, according to the investigation. Three of the officers fired 18 times each. Walker suffered 46 gunshot entrance wounds or graze injuries, according to an autopsy by Summit County Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler. Even so, Walker was handcuffed after the shooting, a police move that “added insult to a terrible loss,” family attorney Bobby DiCello told CNN last year. - CNN
Shooting at Kent State
Ohio Republicans have history in using violence to stop peaceful protests.
"Four Students Were Killed in Ohio. America Was Never the Same. On Friday, May 1, 1970, just after noon, about 300 students at Kent State University, outside Cleveland, gathered in the grassy campus Commons to protest President Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. As the morning wore on, the growing crowd of students, now numbering in the thousands, became feisty, and some taunted the soldiers. Just after noon, a group of guardsmen suddenly huddled together, retreated briefly, wheeled toward the right, turned in tandem and fired at the students for 13 seconds.
The students were not only unarmed; most didn’t realize that the guards’ rifles held live ammunition. Four students were killed: Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder. Nine others were injured. After 50 years, we still don’t know why the guard turned and fired. While Kent State was not the only instance of violence against student protesters, it immediately became a byword for state-sanctioned violence." - NY Times
TakeAway: Don't fall for Republican voter suppression and violence. Register and vote.
Image credit: Newsweek
DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation - NCBDP is dedicated to increasing civic engagement and voter participation in Black and underserved communities across the United States. The National Coalition strives to create an enlightened community by engaging people in all aspects of public life through service, volunteerism, advocacy, leadership development and voting.
Ohio AFL-CIO is at the forefront of struggles for political power and economic and social justice for working families. Their strength derives from 650,000 union men and women who are affiliated with the Ohio AFL-CIO through 48 international unions and 1,600 local unions.
Ohio State Conference of NAACP Branches - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.
Ohio Voice is dedicated to deepening and growing the civic participation of historically underrepresented and socially responsible individuals by supporting the work of 501(c)(3) organizations throughout the state, thereby advancing economic and social justice policies that benefit all Ohioans.