Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Vote?

As November 6 quickly approaches, members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus discuss why it is important to vote this year. 

Leader Kearney Joins Huntington CEO Steve Steinour and Ohio Government Leadership for Jobs Announcement

Huntington Bank CEO Steve Steinour and Ohio Senate Minority Leader Eric H. Kearney
Today, Ohio Senate Minority Leader Eric H. Kearney (D-Cincinnati) joined Huntington Bank CEO Steve Steinour to announce that Huntington Bank will add 250 new jobs in Ohio over the next four years in support of its new credit card program. The new jobs are a result of a successful public-private partnership (HB 322) that helped level the playing field for Ohio financial institutions to compete against institutions in other states.

Passed with bipartisan support in May 2012, HB 322 would allow Ohio banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions to charge the same or lower rates or amounts of interest, fees, or other charges under a revolving credit agreement that the respective out-of-state financial institutions may charge Ohio revolving credit customers.

“This is a great example of how the General Assembly can partner with Ohio-based businesses to create jobs that will grow our economy,” said Leader Eric H. Kearney. “Through public-private partnerships like this, the General Assembly can level the playing field so Ohio companies will be able to compete more effectively for new businesses and hire more employees.”

Joining the group for the economic development announcement were Governor John R. Kasich, Senate President Tom Niehaus, House Speaker Batchelder and Kenny McDonald, Chief Economic Officer of Columbus 2020.

“Huntington is deeply committed to Ohio. We’re headquarted here and have been since we were founded almost 150 years ago. And we look to Ohio first for any opportunity to expand out business,” said Huntington CEO Steve Steinour. “Ohio and the Midwest are helping lead the U.S. economy our of recession.”

Huntington has made several significant investments in the state during the past several years including a $4 billion lending commitment for small business in early 2010, when it mattered most. Leader Kearney, a small business owner, has also partnered with Huntington Bank in the past on his credit lending forum hosted in the 9th district to offer tips for small businesses on how to obtain loans during difficult financial times.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Make Sure Your Vote Counts: Avoid Common Mistakes on Absentee Ballots

Voting is one of our basic fundamental rights as Americans and the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus wants to make sure you take advantage of your right to vote early. According to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, more than 1.4 million Ohioans have either cast or requested an absentee ballot with three weeks to go before Election Day. Are you preparing to cast your vote via an absentee ballot? If so, here are some common mistakes to avoid.

Follow all the instructions that come with the ballot.
It is not hard to vote by absentee ballot, but to make sure your ballot counts you must follow the instructions.

If you request an absentee ballot—use it. 
If you have asked for an absentee ballot, but then show up to vote on Election Day you will have to vote provisionally.  If you haven’t received your absentee ballot when you think you should have call your county board of elections.

Put your ballot in the identification envelope and seal it.
The most common cause of absentee ballot rejection is the ballot not being in a sealed identification envelope.  The identification envelope is necessary to show who cast the ballot and protect the secrecy of your vote.

Fill out the identification envelope completely. 
Absentee ballot cannot be counted unless the identification envelope is completely filled out including your printed name, signature, identification, and all other required information.

Turn your ballot in on time. 
Your ballot must be received by the county board of elections by the close of the polls on Election Day (November 6th, 7:30 p.m.) or post-marked the day before (November 5th). Postage is now required on all returned ballots. Check with your local post office or board of elections to ensure that you have the correct amount needed for mailing.

Make Your Vote Count on November 6!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Senate Democrats React to U.S. Supreme Court Order on Early Voting

Columbus—Today, Senate Minority Leader Eric H. Kearney and members of the Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statements after the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that all Ohioans should have equal access to the polls for early voting.  The Caucus had filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny an appeal by Secretary of State Jon Husted that would have stopped most Ohioans from being able to vote on the last three days before the election.

Sen. Eric H. Kearney
Senate Minority Leader (D-Cincinnati)

“I am tremendously pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has protected the right to vote for all Ohioans.  It’s unconscionable that Republicans leaders in this state went to such lengths to deny equal access to the polls.  The votes of Ohioans should decide the outcome of this election, not the machinations of those who would suppress the vote.  Now that Ohioans once again have the opportunity to vote on the last three days before the election, I encourage them to do so.”

Sen. Joe Schiavoni
Assistant Minority Leader (D-Boardman)

“With such an incredibly important election this November, the Supreme Court’s ruling will help alleviate confusion and give every person who wants to vote early the ability to do so.”

Sen. Nina Turner
Minority Whip (D-Cleveland)

“Today we saw the Supreme Court do the right thing and side with Ohio’s voters. While I am pleased with the outcome, it should not have taken Secretary Husted two appeals to learn what Ohio voters have known since 2006. There is no place for gamesmanship when it comes to the ballot box. It’s time to let the people vote.  Now that all voters have these opportunities, it is imperative that we use them. All the early voting hours in the world are meaningless if no one casts their ballot.”

Sen. Edna Brown
Assistant Minority Whip (D-Toledo)

“By rejecting Secretary Husted’s appeal for a final time, the Supreme Court has sided with working Ohioans across our state by expanding their opportunities to vote in the upcoming election. I hope this decision sends a signal to policy makers that access to the polls should never be arbitrarily limited for partisan gain.”

Sen. Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard)

“I am pleased to see the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the lower court’s decision to protect Ohioans right to cast their votes early. Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and should never be curtailed.”

Sen. Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus)

"The Supreme Court has upheld the people's rights to a fair and uninterrupted early voting process. This decision reinforces our goal to enfranchise and expand voting opportunities in Ohio."

Sen. Tom Sawyer (D-Akron)

“Early voting is something that is extremely important to the working people across Ohio.  Providing those extra days and hours provides people the opportunity to exercise their right to vote during an important election season.  The decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court was fair and just.”

Sen. Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland)

“As the saying goes, the third time’s a charm.  Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear Secretary Husted’s appeal, I am relieved that he did not waste time issuing a directive for standardized early-voting hours during the three days before Election Day on November 6.  These Republican shenanigans have run their course, and they have exposed their party’s insincerity about fair elections and the rule of law. Through yesterday, 12,018 voters in Cuyahoga County had taken advantage of early voting at the Board of Elections - a 19% increase from the same time in 2008.  With every passing day, more voters are casting ballots, and we have every reason to expect this trend to continue straight through Election Day.”

Sen. Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville)

“This decision is a tremendous victory for the voters and citizens of Ohio.  Voting is the most fundamental right we have in our nation.  The courts decision reaffirms that voter suppression efforts in Ohio will not be tolerated.”

The Caucus

Minority Leader Eric H. Kearney - Cincinnati - 9th District
Assistant Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni - Canfield - 33rd District
Minority Whip Nina Turner - Cleveland - 25th District
Assistant Minority Whip Edna Brown - Toledo - 11th District
Senator Tom Sawyer - Akron - 28th District
Senator Charleta B. Tavares - Columbus - 15th District
Senator Shirley Smith - Cleveland - 21st District
Senator Michael J. Skindell - Cleveland - 23rd District
Senator Lou Gentile - Steubenville - 30th District
Senator Capri S. Cafaro - Hubbard - 32nd District

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