COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced a new statewide voter registration campaign called Raise a Glass to Democracy.
More than 30 breweries statewide are partnering with the secretary of state to boost civic engagement.
“It is widely thought that many of the ideas for the American Revolution began in pubs with people getting together and talking about how they didn’t want to be under the oppression of the monarch anymore. The idea of democracy going together with beer drinking is very compatible,” LaRose said. “You can have your opinion, state you opinion, you can share it on social media or you can go to public demonstrations, but unless you register and vote, you are missing an important part of the civic process.”
In 2015 as an Ohio state senator, LaRose introduced legislation that would allow eligible Ohioans to register to vote online. That bill became law in 2016 and so far this year hundreds of thousands of Ohioans have gone online to register to vote or update their registration.
To register online at VoteOhio.gov, Ohioans will need to provide their Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card number, name, date of birth, address and the last four digits of their Social Security number.
By law, Ohioans must register or update their voter registration no later than 30 days prior to an election. The registration deadline for the Nov. 3 general election is Oct. 5.
Just as in 2016, it is expected that older adults are more likely to turn out to vote this fall. Ohio is stronger when all of its voices are heard from every generation, LaRose said.
To help bridge this gap, LaRose has asked businesses that have a unique capability to reach younger Ohioans to partner with the secretary of state’s office to increase the number of registered Ohio voters.
According to the Harris Poll/Nielsen, more than half of 21 to 44 year olds have said they drink craft beer.
The Raise a Glass to Democracy voter registration campaign began as a brainstorm between the secretary of state’s office and Rhinegeist Brewery. With their creative support, more than 30 Ohio breweries have signed up to create a beer using a universal label designed to encourage civic engagement and boost voter registration.
Most breweries are expected to have their beers ready for sale at their respective locations by early September, well ahead of the Oct. 5 registration deadline. The label promotes the VoteOhio.gov website while also allowing each brewer to include their own branding.