Updated Fri, May 2, 2014 3:18 pm
Tom Hodson, director and general manager of WOUB Public Media, was the featured speaker Thursday at the Athens County Bar Association’s Law Day celebration. About 100, attorneys, judges, and legal staff members attended the luncheon at the Athens County Club.
“American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters” was the title of the talk. Hodson cited examples of tight one-vote elections throughout our history but concentrated most of his remarks on actions being taken by people in power to make voting more difficult.
He focused on the changes in Ohio’s election laws that cut back on the days for early voting and that prohibit local boards of elections from sending absentee ballots to all registered voters. Hodson lamented that voting rights have been too interwoven with partisan politics, especially in Ohio.
Hodson argued that it is the duty of all attorneys, regardless of their political affiliation, to do everything within their power to ensure that people have the right to vote and easy access to the polls.
“As lawyers we are more than just litigators or advocates. We are seen by the public as protectors of the law. Therefore, we need to carry the message, regardless of our party, that every vote matters and everyone should have an equal right to exercise their voting privilege,” Hodson said.
His remarks were made on the same day that the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, filed a lawsuit under the Federal Voting Rights Act to find Ohio’s latest election limitations to be in violation of that statute.
This topic was part of the 2014 Law Day theme and Law Day programs promoted by the American Bar Association.