The Ohio Women's Public Policy Network Voter Guide

THE OHIO WOMEN’S PUBLIC POLICY NETWORK VOTER GUIDE: NOVEMBER 3 , 2020 , GENERAL ELECTION 

A nonpartisan guide to inform voters of candidates’ stances on issues affecting women and families in the November 3  General Election for Ohio State House and Ohio State Senate candidates

EARLY IN-PERSON VOTING: Begins October 6, 2020  and includes the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday Before Election Day

ABSENTEE VOTING BY MAIL: Begins October 6, 2020  (28 Days Before Election Day) Deadline to Request: October 31,2020 (3 Days Before Election)

* If mailed, ballots must be postmarked 1 Day Before Election Day to count. Absentee Ballots can also be returned to your county board of elections by 7:30 on Election Day* 

ELECTION DAY: November 3, 2020  (Polls Open 6:00 AM – 7:30 PM)

ABOUT THE GUIDE

The Women’s Public Policy Network’s 2020 State General  Election Voter Guide was created to serve as a non-partisan, educational tool for voters to understand where candidates for the 2020 general election stand on issues impacting Ohio’s women and families. This project is intended to be a voter education guide, and is not an endorsement of any candidate or political party. As a non-partisan organization, we neither support nor oppose candidates or political parties.

PROJECT NARRATIVE AND METHODOLOGY

The information published in this Voter Guide was obtained by a questionnaire sent to candidates. The questions were crafted by network partners to help raise awareness for voters about the candidates’ stances and priorities on the three main issue focus areas within our policy agenda: 1) promoting economic security for women, 2) ensuring fairness and opportunity in the workplace, and 3) improving women’s health and wellbeing.

Candidates in contested races for the Ohio State House and the Ohio State Senate who qualified for the upcoming November 3, 2020 general election received the questionnaire with instructions for completing and submitting to us for use in this Voter Guide. The candidates’ names are listed on the Voter Guide in the order in which they registered with the Secretary of State.

All candidates were offered the opportunity to complete a written questionnaire, composed of three questions on issues affecting women and their families and additional campaign information. Candidates were allowed up to 250 words to respond to each question and instructed that any responses to exceed that word limit would be left off of the final published Voter Guides, even if it is mid sentence. Any words beyond that limit are indicated in the published Voter Guides by three dots at the end of the paragraph. Candidate replies are printed without editing. No typos or other errors were corrected in the final submissions.

Candidates were given notice that they would have until the October 5th deadline to submit completed questionnaires, and that we would indicate candidates who did not submit responses. We have marked any candidates in contested general races who did not respond with the text ‘No response received.’ To ensure voters have as much information as possible to make informed decisions, we will continue to update the voter guide with any additional questionnaires that are submitted up until the date of the election.

FOR CANDIDATES

Candidates can also access the full version of the Voter Guide Questionnaire to complete by downloading the PDF document. Instructions for completing and submitting the guide are included in the document. We will accept and update candidate responses up until the date of the election.

  • Voter Guide Questionnaire available for download here.

Questions? Contact our Managing Director Erin Ryan at wppnvoterguide@gmail.com or (440) 382-2900


FOR VOTERS: USING THE VOTER GUIDE

This Voter Guide offers information about candidates running in the November 3, 2020  general election for contested races for the following seats:

  • Ohio House 
  • Ohio Senate 

You can read candidate responses for each of these races using the dropdown search boxes below. Only candidates in contested races have results available in this guide. If you do not know your House or Senate district, you can find those using the searchable ‘Find Your District’ tool. The questions sent to each candidate are available in their full form at the bottom of this landing page.

Need help finding your district? Fill out the form below.

5-digit Zip Code/4-digit Ext. -

CANDIDATE VOTER GUIDE QUESTIONNAIRE

Issue 1

Promoting Economic Security for Women and Families

Even prior to the coronavirus pandemic, women consistently faced barriers within Ohio’s labor market, including disproportionate representation in low-security and low-wage jobs. Despite having slightly higher levels of educational attainment than men, women are more likely to work for minimum wage, hold part-time jobs, and live in poverty. The unemployment and economic ramifications of the pandemic have hit women the hardest, particularly women of color. In April, women’s overall unemployment reached above 15 percent, which is the highest it has ever been since the Bureau of Labor began reporting data by gender in 1948. For African American and Latinx women, it was even higher at 16.4 percent and 20.2 percent unemployment, respectively.

Additionally, women are more likely to take on caregiving duties for children and other family members, and during the current crisis, women have taken on an even greater share of household and care responsibilities within their families. Moreover, the crisis threatens to break an already strained child care system, and studies have shown that women ages 25- 44 are three times as likely as men to not be working during the pandemic due to disrupted childcare arrangements.

Women’s systemic labor market barriers threaten their economic security, as well as that of their families. This reality is highly pressing, as women play an increasingly integral role in securing their families’ livelihood. Indeed, in 2019, women were the sole, primary, or co-breadwinner in nearly two-thirds of Ohio households, and, within the United States, breadwinning mothers are increasingly the norm. In Ohio, within the last five years, 85 percent of Black mothers, 53 percent of white mothers and 62 percent of Latina mothers were key family breadwinners.

Question

What are three policy initiatives you support to promote economic security for women and their families? (250-word limit)

Your answer may or may not include your stance on a variety of policy issues, including: wages, paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, childcare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, retirement security, pensions, or housing.

Issue 2

Ensuring Opportunity and Fairness in the Workplace

The family structure has shifted significantly in the last three decades, with women’s workforce participation increasing 35 percent since the early 1970s. At the start of this year, women outnumbered men in the workforce; however, the coronavirus pandemic threatens to roll back women’s advancements in the workforce. This is especially true for Latinx and Black women who make up a disproportionate share of the unemployed workforce due to their overrepresentation in industries like food service, retail, and hospitality where employers are forced to close entirely or eliminate jobs because of the pandemic.

Despite this increased participation in the workforce before the pandemic,women, particularly those working in the lowwage workforce, continued to face barriers to keeping their employment or advancing in their careers due to outdated workplace policies or workplace discrimination. This fall, as most schools restarted either fully online or a hybrid of online and in person classes, the strain on women workers increased further, and without job flexibility and supportive workplace policies, even more women may be forced to leave the workforce to care for school aged children learning at home because of the pandemic. Pregnancy discrimination - such as being forced out of a job or denied reasonable workplace accommodations at work while pregnant - affects women across race and ethnicity. Yet, women of color and immigrants may be at disproportionate risk due to the greater likelihood of working in jobs with less flexibility and increased physical demands, such as home health aides, food service workers, package delivery or handlers, and cleaners. Additionally, according to research gathered in 2011, half of women in the United States who had experienced sexual assault quit or were forced to leave their jobs within the first year following the assault, leading to an average total lifetime income loss of nearly $250,000 for an individual.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, women have been overrepresented in jobs on the frontlines as essential workers, such as child care workers, grocery store clerks, and restaurant workers, which can put them at a higher risk of exposure to the virus. In Ohio, women make up 67 percent of the state’s frontline workers, 80 percent of healthcare workers, and 85 percent of those employed in child care and social services. Black workers constitute a larger share of workers in all three sectors compared to Ohio’s workforce overall, inherently putting Black workers’ health and livelihood on the line at much higher rates.

Question

What are three of your legislative priorities to address issues facing women in the workplace? (250-word limit)

Your answer may or may not touch on your stances on workplace policy issues including: pay equity, protections for pregnant workers, non-discrimination policies, scheduling laws, collective bargaining, or barriers to career advancement.

Issue 3

Improving Women's Health and Well-Being

Comprehensive healthcare is a critical means to bolster the health and economic security of Ohio women and families; however, it is inaccessible for many. Women of color are more likely to be uninsured, which presents barriers to seeking preventive and primary health care and contributes to persistent health disparities. Nationally, one in five Native American women, one in six Latinx women, and one in ten Black women lacked health coverage before the pandemic, and uninsured rates have increased significantly since the crisis hit.

Health care costs are even higher for women who have experienced domestic or sexual violence, and these elevated costs can continue for as long as 15 years after the incident of abuse. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with shelter-at home protocols, rates of intimate partner violence have increased with greater limitations for survivors and victims to seek resources and help.

Finally, although many women presently rely on comprehensive reproductive health services, access is not distributed evenly. Women of color,especially Black women, are disproportionately likely to be denied or unable to access resources, services, and information related to their reproductive health and obstetric care. Even when they can access care, Black women are more likely to face implicit or explicit bias from medical providers, which impacts the care they receive and prevents them from experiencing optimal health, wellbeing, and birth outcomes. The United States is the most dangerous developed nation in the world for women to give birth, and Ohio faces a maternal and infant mortality rate above the national average. Nationally, Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related deaths compared to white women as a result of racial disparities in access to and quality of care; discrimination and implicit bias in the health care system experienced before, during, and after pregnancy; and stress and trauma associated with structural and institutional racism. Increased health risks, changes in protocols and policies at hospitals, and employment in jobs with higher virus exposure during the coronavirus pandemic are all realities that further threaten maternal health outcomes.

Question

What are three policy issues you support to improve access to and the affordability of healthcare for women? (250-word limit)

Your answer may or may not include policy solutions related to issues such as the affordability of health care, cultural barriers to health care services, maternal health care and maternal mortality and morbidity, reproductive health care and abortion, sexual and domestic violence and stalking, access to mental health care services, or healthy relationship education.