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Backers Of Ohio Voter Guarantees Hold Summit

More than 100 people attended a statewide summit exploring voting-rights issues in Ohio and advancing a proposed constitutional amendment that would put certain guarantees in the state Constitution. U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Columbus Democrat, energized a lunch crowd at Trinity Baptist Church near downtown Columbus where the Voter Bill of Rights organization convened the event. Representatives of the coalition of black lawmakers, clergy and civil rights leaders that launched the campaign in January were in attendance, as well as politicians, voter advocates, election lawyers and others. They aim to place the issue on the ballot in 2015 or 2016. State Rep. Alicia Reese, president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, said 100,000 signatures have been gathered, 1,200 volunteers have been trained and more than 500 churches are involved.