Monday, November 05, 2012

Voter Suppression in Southern Ohio -- Abe Rybeck Reports

Today's guest GOTV canvasser is Abe Rybeck, good friend and Executive Director of the Theater Offensive in Boston.  He is volunteering in southern Ohio in the towns across the Ohio River from his hometown of Wheeling, WV. Thank you Abe for this first hand account.  It is a perfect example of why we must stay vigilant, committed and active until this effort is done.

Belmont County Ohio

Bobbi in Bridgeport hasn’t paid an overdue ticket she got last year from the Ohio State Troopers when the back right lights of her old dodge got knocked off. She thinks that means she’s NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE!

This is just one of the forms Voter Suppression takes and it makes my blood boil! The right-wingers who are pushing the restrictive voting laws are scaring poor people away from voting with the threat that when they show their id, they’ll get busted for any little thing on their record!

Bobbi is a Licensed Practical Nurse. On Sunday, she was in between shifts, taking care of her VERY sick mom, Hannah, who is suffering from two kinds of cancer. They live in the part of Bridgeport that flooded every year or two when I was growing up. Looks like they’re still dealing with that. 

Bobbi feels that Obama is an honorable man, who is doing the best that can be done in a tough situation. She knows how that feels and she wants to vote for him.

So it’s tremendously satisfying to be here working on the Get Out The Vote effort in Southeastern Ohio! I’m staying with my sister on our family farm in West Virginia, then crossing the river each day to work in different towns in Ohio. Yesterday I was in Bridgeport. The Obama for Ohio campaign is so well organized! Courtney gave me excellent materials that helped convince Bobbi that voting wouldn’t put her in jail. Then Therese helped us figure out a place where Bobbi could vote legally without intimidation.

That was one of the many, many people I've been honored to meet Getting Out The Vote.

Shout out to Rebecca O Johnson up in Akron, who inspired and challenged me to do this in the first place! Off to my next shift!

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