Ohio Voting Practices Discriminate Against Women

by sherry mann

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Earlier this year, I was married, subsequently changed my name and moved. Shortly after our marriage and move, I registered with the Delaware County Board of Elections to update their information. Shortly thereafter, they sent me a card with my new name (Sherry L. Mann) and current address.

In getting ready to vote today, I would have thought that my updated voter’s registration card (with embossed seal) along with my drivers license would have sufficed, but my husband is an attorney who specialized in election law at Ohio State University. He knew to bring other relevant documents, so in addition to my voter registration card and Ohio Driver’s license we brought our electric bill (which would prove my current address) and our marriage license (to show my recent name change).

But there was a problem. Actually, according to the local board of elections, there were several.

  1. Although my electric bill proved my address, it was in the name of, “Sherry L. Clark” so “Sherry L. Mann” didn’t have proof of where ‘she’ lived.
  2. My Ohio Driver’s License had “Sherry L. Clark” with my former address on it.
  3. My marriage license showed that “Sherry L. Clark” got married to Jesse R. Mann, but evidently that was not sufficient proof for the poll’s “presiding judge” that Sherry L. Clark was in fact, Sherry L. Mann.

After other presiding judges in the various precincts were consulted, I was informed that I would have to vote provisionally. I did not want to vote provisionally, so my husband, Jesse asked if that decision could be reviewed by the Delaware Board of Elections, so the presiding judge called them. The Board upheld their decision since, according to them, the State of Ohio did not recognize the marriage license when it came to elections…the same marriage license issued by the State of Ohio.  Keep in mind, I could have voted absentee without any hassle, but since I followed the traditional course that most women in our country take and took my husband’s last name, it would be up to me to prove that I was Sherry L. Mann.

Jesse and I went back home to find something that would allow me to vote. Oddly enough, it wasn’t my social security card, my marriage license, my passport, my birth certificate, my Ohio Driver’s license, my electric bill, or my health card ID that would prove who I was…it was a letter from my bank which happened to have our address with my new name. This letter had no special watermarks, seals or signatures. It could have easily been created on any home pc and printed off on any color printer. And do you know how the bank knew that I was Sherry L. Mann? They looked at my marriage license!

Current voting practices may be fair on their face, but for all those women who get married and take their husband’s name, their effects are discriminatory.

6 Comments

  1. Joe myrick

    May 5, 2010 at 9:29 am

    If you had told them you were a muslim you would have had no problem.

  2. Joe myrick

    May 5, 2010 at 9:31 am

    If you had informed them that you were an open couple that practiced trading partners, you would have had no problem. They would have known you were affiliated with the ACLU. They would have allowed you to vote and given you a prize.

  3. Keren

    May 6, 2010 at 12:41 am

    ‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’

    They certainly do like to impose their authoratative procedures over mothers who have developed such skills through occupational training which threaten to derail even the most clever schemes these politicians of ours can concoct.

    Through the psychological warfare of sleep deprivation, torturous screaming, being defecated, urinated and vomitted upon,women have developed many super human skills. The most acutely developed power is the ‘Hawk Eye’ which is the ability to discern the events within a 360 degree periphery. Sometimes known as the ol’eyes in the back of your head trick. This renders many little foes helpless in their attempts to disturb the peace, pass bills unaware while stealing cookies from the cookie jar. This extraordinary intuition is indeed to be deemed a danger to all politicians within the metropolis area.

    ‘KAPOW!!’ ‘WHAM*?!’ ‘OOOFF!’

    The calling of motherhood endows these legions of women with great motive for asserting tight reigns onto the establishment into which they will one day have to relinquesh their children. The greatest motivating factor these women have for the preservation of order and decency are the giggles, whispers, laughter, questions, smiles, hopes and dreams resonating in the hearts of these children for which women everywhere are prepared to live, fight and die for.

    WARNING! COMING TO A VOTING BOOTH NEAR YOU!!!

    (P.S. Dang bureaucracy! I hope those voting agents go and crawl back under the doctor office receptionist desk they surely came out of, or maybe it was a DMV window. They could be the people who show up the first week of school and want you to sign 152 papers. ~ You want papers? I got your papers! What do you want? First grade report cards? Dr. Appt. reminders, half a tree’s worth of bills, the oil change receipt from two years ago, a birthday card from 1983, 28 sticky notes w/ things to do this weekend?! Yea… i got your dang papers!!!)

    HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

  4. sherry

    May 6, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Long live superwomen!

  5. Keren

    May 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Wowsers Sherry! You must be related to Delilah herself with your ability to choose such relevant music on topic. How brilliant is that video:) Once more, thanks for sharing.

  6. sherry

    May 7, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Ha! gotta tell you, I am definitely not Delilah! I had always thought Alicia Keys was a country singer. I just got lucky…entered superwoman into google videos, got that song, and like ‘KAPOW!!’ ‘WHAM*?!’ ‘OOOFF!’ even my hip hubby had never heard the song before! ;-)

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