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Ohio Senator 18th District

Responsibilities: To represent the people of the district and the state of Ohio in dealing with matters not allocated to the federal government.

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  • Jerry Cirino

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    Betsy Rader

Biographical Information

In what ways would you change our election system in order to be prepared for crises that impair the right to vote?

What will you do to combat gerrymandering and ensure that voter-approved redistricting reforms are implemented?

Where do you stand on gun safety measures?

Where do you stand on women’s reproductive rights and health?

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Age 59
Education The Ohio State University B.A. 1982 Yale Law School J.D. 1986 George Washington University grad. cert. Healthcare Compliance 2014
Training & Experience Employment Attorney, guardian ad litem for abused children, Betsy Rader Law; ORISE Fellow, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Senior Counsel, Cleveland Clinic; Sr. VP, LOCUM Medical Group; Director CASA for KIDS of Geauga County; Attorney, Squire Sanders
Twitter @BetsyRaderOH
Robust voter education about voting options is key during a crisis. Some changes that should have been implemented in Ohio during this crisis are (1) the ability to request an absentee ballot online instead of limiting requests to a paper application that is mailed in, and (2) increasing the number of ballot drop box locations rather than only allowing a drop box at a single Board of Elections location for each county. Including postage on the return envelope for requested absentee ballots would also facilitate voting. Some other states only permit absentee voting if the voter has an “excuse,” and those states should adopt Ohio’s system of “no excuse” absentee voting. Other types of crises could involve the internet or electrical systems, and returning to the universal use of hand-marked paper ballots could help ameliorate those problems.
Fair districts and fair elections are essential to our democracy. A three-judge federal panel ruled last year that Ohio’s current congressional districts are unconstitutionally gerrymandered, depriving us of our free speech and voting rights. But the Supreme Court subsequently ruled that it was up to the political process rather than the courts to address gerrymandering. Fortunately, new Ohio rules govern how maps are to be redrawn in 2021 and require far more transparency and bipartisanship than when districts were last drawn. As a state senator I will have the opportunity to vote on the new district maps even if I am a member of the minority party, and I will diligently review such maps for fairness. I will be a strong voice for compliance with the new laws and for fair districts within the legislature and in all public forums. Members of all political parties benefit from fair districts where politicians are accountable to voters and extremism is not rewarded.
My dad was a game warden with the Ohio Division of Wildlife; I grew up hunting with him and guns were a regular part of our lives. I recognize Second Amendment rights and I support common sense gun safety measures such as universal background checks that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists. I also support Red Flag Laws that allow courts with due process to keep guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others, like domestic violence perpetrators. I am the endorsed candidate of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, and I support measures that protect our police such as disclosure of concealed weapons during a traffic stop or other law enforcement purpose.
When I was a married law student without health insurance, I was able to receive affordable routine women’s healthcare at Planned Parenthood and those services included birth control that allowed me to plan when I would start our family. I support healthcare services such as Planned Parenthood and believe women should be able to access affordable healthcare and to make their own healthcare decisions with their doctors without interference by the government. This right to make medical decisions extends to their reproductive rights, subject to the limits set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. This decision has been established law in this country for almost 50 years and should not be overturned.