A House vote is expected early this week on Ohio Senate Bill 380, an anti- voting rights bill being pushed by Republicans during the lame-duck session.
The bill, introduced by Senator Bill Seitz, would create a more complicated deadline structure for early and absentee voting, while making it easier for ballots to be rejected for technical, non-substantive reasons.
From testimony submitted by a Cincinnati election official:
"Administering the bill will be a nightmare and it serves no useful purpose. Voters will be up in arms when they realize the extra hoops they must jump through. This bill expects voters to know something they can’t know – the precise date their voter registration is processed, so they can add 30 days to that date and see if they can even vote absentee. It’s a convoluted mess."
Boards of Elections officials from Butler, Lucas, and Mahoning counties have spoken in opposition to the rushed legislation, in addition tothe Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, ACLU, League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Ohio Citizen Action and election activists.
The bill passed in the Senate along party lines, with Republicans claiming (without citing evidence) that it’s necessary to prevent "voter fraud."
Cosponsors of the bill: Senators Cates (R), Carey (R), Wagoner (R), Amstutz (R), Coughlin (R), Harris (R), Schaffer (R), Faber (R), and Buehrer (R)
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