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WKU Public Radio is part of a new regional journalism collaborative known as the Ohio Valley ReSource. It's made up of public media stations across Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The collaborative will focus on the changing economy in the region and its effect on jobs, healthcare and infrastructure. Each station taking part in the Ohio Valley ReSource is hiring a reporter to contribute to the effort. WKU Public Radio's reporter is Alana Watson, who will be based in the Bowling Green newsroom. The Ohio Valley ReSource is made possible by member stations and through a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting.

Can You Wear “Black Lives Matter” Clothing To The Polls? Yes.

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Some voters in Ohio and Kentucky expressed concern that poll workers were advising them that  “Black Lives Matter” attire was not allowed in polling locations. But according to both state’s laws on the subject, BLM clothing is perfectly fine to wear while casting your ballot. 

 

The voters shared their concerns using the tipline operated by ProPublica’s Electionland project.  

 

Political campaign attire isn’t allowed to be worn at the polls in the Ohio Valley. Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia have laws prohibiting people from wearing anything with a candidate’s name, campaign slogan or logo, or political party affiliation. But elections experts say that doesn’t apply to items bearing “Black Lives Matter.” 

Ohio’s precinct election training manual states that attire displaying a political party, candidate’s name, or attire demonstrating support of or opposition to a ballot question or issue is not allowed. The manual also states that those who refuse to remove or cover the attire still must be allowed to vote if they are entitled to. 

 

Maggie Sheehan, press secretary for Ohio’s Secretary of State Frank LaRose, told the ReSource that no one will be denied the opportunity to vote. 

 

In Kentucky, Black Lives Matter attire is also allowed. Former Kentucky Secretary of State and attorney Trey Grayson, an election expert assisting ProPublica, said that BLM doesn’t count as campaigning.

 

“It’s not for or against any bona fide candidate or ballot question in manner which expressly advocates the election or defeat of the candidate or expressly advocates the passage or defeat of the ballot question,” he said. 

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Credit ProPublica
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If you have questions or concerns about voting let us know via the Electionland tipline. Text VOTE to 81380 or use this form

Former student intern Alana Watson rejoined WKU Public Radio in August 2020 as the Ohio Valley ReSource economics reporter. She transitioned to the station's All Things Considered Host in July of 2020. Watson is a 2017 graduate of Western Kentucky University and has a B.A. in Broadcasting Journalism. She also has her M.A in Communications from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. Watson is a Nashville native and has interned at WPLN-FM in Nashville. In 2019, she won a Tennessee AP Broadcaster & Editors Award for her sports feature on Belmont University's smallest point guard. While at WKU Public Radio she won Best College Radio Reporter in 2016 from the Kentucky Ap Broadcasters Association for her work on post-apartheid South Africa. Watson was previously at Wisconsin Public Radio as thier 2nd Century Fellow where she did general assignment and feature reporting in Milwaukee.
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