Ohio Young Black Democrats Are Concerned About Voter Turnout -- And So Are The Candidates

May 15, 2018

Most of the Democrats running in statewide races spoke at an Ohio Young Black Democrats event over the weekend near Cleveland, addressing several issues including voter turnout.

A small crowd gathered at the Warrensville Heights Civic Center on Saturday for the event, which included Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rich Cordray.

'If he doesn't really step it up, and give voters a reason to show up, they're not going to show up.'

Asked about police brutality, Cordray said, “We need to have better training, we need to have more accountability -- and again, I think the cameras and the visibility of this is leading to more accountability -- but it’s something that we should not accept and condone anywhere in our society.”

That wasn’t a good enough answer for Bishop Chui, a member of the Ohio Young Black Democrats. He says if Democrats want votes, they need to speak more directly to concerns about the issues.

“The main concerns for the party and for this candidate is voter turnout. And if he doesn’t really step it up, and give voters a reason to show up, they’re not going to show up.”

Chui also says the low turnout for the event – about 20 people – is another sign that Ohio’s Democrats need to start addressing the issues in a way that speaks to groups like his.

Rob Richardson, who’s running for treasurer, expressed concern about voter turnout.

“I don’t think there’s a ‘Blue Wave.’  I don’t think that’s going to come.  That’s like you’re hoping that people are just going to respond because of what’s going on in Washington [and] what’s going on in Columbus. We can’t hope for that – we have to fight for it.  And that’s going to take more people coming out.  We’re going to need more people to come out to these events. We’re going to have to have more people involved. We’re going to need more people to vote. You’re going to have to knock on more doors.”

Richardson and several of the other speakers said they’re pleased with the primary results from last week, such as the passage of Issue 1, a state constitutional amendment to change how congressional district maps are drawn