Ohio Voting Rights Under Attack

On April 6, Ohio S.B. No. 320 was introduced that requires photo ID to vote. Republicans have a record of hostility towards voting rights, and this new bill chips away at the current laws.

In February 2021, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, said Ohio organized the ‘ultimate success of an election’. So it begs the question as to what the purpose of more restrictive voting laws is.

In May 2021, the House introduced H.B. No 294 titled the Ohio Election Security and Modernization Act. The Act did a few things that made sense (like require Logic and Accuracy testing for voting machines which is currently only required by Directive). But it also prevented mail in votes to be counted if a voter placed it in the wrong envelope, and required an increase to a two-factor authentication. It also put severe restrictions on the use of drop boxes, which were so vital for voting in a pandemic. This bill is currently stalled in the Government Oversight Committee, as many groups opposed the language and restrictions, including Boards of Elections, League of Women Voters and the Ohio Voters Rights Coalition. It attempted to address voting security issues, that by LaRose’s own admission did not exist.

House Bill No. 320 only addresses the requirement for a photo ID. According to the ACLU, voter ID laws ‘deprive many voters of their right to vote, reduce participation, and stand in direct opposition to our country’s trend of including more Americans in the democratic process.’

Voter ID laws deprive many Americans the right to vote; they are discriminatory, and are a solution in search of a problem. Stricter voting ID requirements disproportionally impact low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with physical disabilities, many of whom may have difficulty obtaining the IDs required. According to Policy Matters, approximately 938,642 Ohio adults lack photo IDs.

The time to act is now.

Call George Lang’s Office at (614) 466-8072 or email him at sd04@ohiosenate.gov

You can also contact the office of Primary Sponsor Theresa Gavarone at (614) 466-8060

No co-sponsors are listed at the time of publication (4/12/22).