Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

‘God’ Motto on Election Stickers Stirs Controversy in Ohio

Posted by faithandthelaw on June 1, 2011

Voting stickers on election day are common and popular in Ohio, but when it comes to including the state’s motto, “With God, All Things are Possible,” on them, it has generated controversy in the Buckeye state.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office has proposed six designs, two of which have the state motto across the bottom. The Secretary of State’s office designed all six of the proposed stickers in-house.

Matt McClellan, a Husted spokesman, told The Christian Post the idea for the stickers came from Secretary Husted’s “Grads Vote Ohio” program. The secretary has been visiting with high school students who are currently or nearing voting age and encouraging them to register and participate in the election process.

“Secretary Husted has been educating students on the importance of voting and felt the stickers would motivate others to vote on Election Day,” McClellan said. “The secretary believes it’s important to get the youth of Ohio registered and for everyone who is registered to vote during each election cycle.”

McClellan also added Husted’s office had received only a “handful” of comments on the six designs, some supporting the inclusion of the motto and others opposing its use.

“It’s certainly not trying to push anything on anyone,” said McClellan.

In 2001, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Ohio state motto as constitutional.

Catherine Turcer, legislative director for Ohio Citizen Action, a government watchdog group, told The Christian Post her organization was concerned that voters of all religions wouldn’t feel welcome and included when visiting polling locations.

“It’s our state motto. In many ways it makes sense to include it, but it’s one thing to have the motto, it’s another thing to use it,” said Turcer. “Because stickers are important to Ohio voters, we want a sticker that is inclusive and makes everyone comfortable, regardless of their religious beliefs. Stickers are an important part of our culture.”

From now through August 8, residents are encouraged to vote for their favorite design and then “endorse” their preferred sticker by sharing it on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

According to the site, “The sticker that earns the popular vote will be the one distributed to Ohio voters at the polls this November 8, 2011.”

As of Tuesday morning, about 13,000 votes have been cast. The sticker currently in first place with about 43 percent of the vote is the “I love Voting” sticker that does not include the state motto. The two stickers that include the motto across the bottom are in second and third place with about 18 and 15 percent of the vote, respectively.

Ohio residents are encouraged to visit http://www.ElectYourSticker.com to cast their vote.

Courtesy of http://www.christianpost.com/news/god-motto-on-election-stickers-stirs-controversy-in-ohio-50689/

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