COLUMBUS, Ohio – (December 9, 2005) – Despite the heavy snow storm and bitter temperatures, Jonathan Meier, a 23 year-old divinity student and Columbus resident, is continuing a prayer vigil and hunger strike at the Ohio Statehouse to signal his disgust and distrust with House Bill 3 – the vote reform bill proposed and supported by GOP lawmakers.
Meier will continue the vigil Dec. 13 from 9am-11am on the Broad Street side of the Ohio Statehouse, at Broad and High Street. Supporters are welcome to join him in solidarity to show the lawmakers that the people of Ohio are in opposition to the bill.

Meier's hunger fast and vigil has been supported by sympathizers as far away as from Portand, Oregon and London, England. Meier also interviewed with a radio station covering the issue in Seattle.

Meier says that the demonstration is his way of highlighting the injustice of House Bill 3. “Most people don’t realize that this legislation, if passed by the senate next week, would make it virtually impossible for homeless folks to vote, would make it virtually impossible for groups to register large numbers of voters, would eliminate oversight of voting machines, and would cancel our right to challenge election results.”

Why prayer and a hunger strike? Meier says that his Christian faith calls him to “constantly pursue social justice and illuminate social ills, and, often, this call requires personal sacrifice.”

The Ohio Senate is expected to vote on House Bill 3 next week. Meier affirms that he will continue praying and fasting until that point.

“Who gains from this legislation?,” Meier asks. “Instead of addressing the long lines at the polls, instead of making it easier for people to register and to vote, Republican lawmakers put forward 424 pages of legislation that will set up roadblocks to our democracy. I, for one, do not trust a vote reform bill that is purely a partisan act.”

Contact: Jonathan Meier, (614)208-1593; Rev. John Edgar, (614)327-5468