CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald wants voters to decide if Cuyahoga County's charter should add an amendment protecting voting rights. He's hoping to get it on the November ballot.
He's sending the proposed legislation to Cuyahoga County Council. Councilwoman Sunny Simon (D-11) is co-sponsoring the measure.
In a release FitzGerald said, "Here in Cuyahoga County, we're going to keep doing everything we can to protect voting rights for our constituents. Offering voters the opportunity to approve a charter amendment like this one should be a no-brainer."
FitzGerald's proposal would give county voters the chance to approve Article XIV to the County Charter. It would provide that the right to vote is a basic right in the County and authorize the County to act to protect and encourage the right to vote.
This includes the promotion of voter registration and early voting.
FitzGerald's amendment will be in front of voters in November if at least 8 of 11 County Council members vote yes.
FitzGerald's been in a war of words with Republicans in the state legislature over voting rights.
Early this year, lawmakers passed and Governor Kasich signed into law three measures that would reduce early voting days, ban local boards of election from sending vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters and make it more difficult to cast provisional ballots.
Some Republicans in the House talked of trying to slash Cuyahoga County's Local Government Fund by 10 percent if it defied the laws. They later backed off that idea
FitzGerald asked the Department of Justice to investigate voter suppression in Ohio.
In February, FitzGerald pledged to introduce a charter amendment protecting voting rights in the county. He later signed a county Voting Rights Law that ensures registered voters will get vote-by-mail applications it the state does not send them.