Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, Co-Founders of Black Voters Matter and April England-Albright, National Legal Director of Black Voters Matter issue the following statement on Tuesday’s landmark win in Ohio

On Tuesday, Ohio voters sent a very clear message to the GOP that they will not be forced backward. 57% of voters overwhelmingly rejected the ballot measure that would have made it increasingly more difficult to amend the state’s constitution ahead of the general election. Women turned out in higher numbers among those who voted early; This remarkable increase is being driven, in part, by Black women, who make up 9% of the surge, compared to 7% last year. This was a major win for democracy and reproductive rights!

We witnessed significant Black voter turnout in key cities such as Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Toledo, Akron, and Cleveland because of the undeniable efforts of grassroots groups and organizers on the ground actively working to mobilize and educate Black voters on the devastating impact that issue 1 would have on our communities if passed. Because Black voters have historically faced numerous barriers to exercising their right to vote, reproductive freedom, fair wages, and more, we are not surprised that Black people showed up to ensure that right wing Republicans did not undo 100 years of precedent in Ohio.

We applaud the voters and grassroots organizers in Ohio for defending our democracy. We firmly believe that democracy thrives when every eligible voter has the opportunity to participate freely and without undue barriers. Issue 1 not only hinders this fundamental right but also disproportionately burdens Black and marginalized communities in Ohio. This is a major win for democracy as it upholds the principles of fair and transparent elections. The decision reflects the power of the people and their commitment to protecting the democratic process.