A conservative group says it will pursue a ballot issue if lawmakers don’t move legislation requiring eligible residents to show government-issued photo identification cards to vote. During a lobbying day at the Statehouse May 29, the Ohio Christian Alliance and other supporters indicated they would launch an initiated statute in 2015, absent lawmaker action on the issue before year’s end. The process would involve circulating petitions and collecting more than 100,000 signatures before the end of the year. The legislature would then have about four months to act before backers circulate more petitions and gather another 275,000-plus signatures to place the issue on the November ballot.
“With 29 days of open voting still available, there continues to exist an opportunity for those who intend to commit voter fraud to take advantage of Ohio’s open-ended election season,” said Chris Long, president of the Ohio Christian Alliance. “The post-election reports detail a story that voter fraud is a growing problem in Ohio. The only way to address this challenge to Ohio’s election system is to adopt a photo ID requirement.”
Under current law, residents must show a valid driver’s license or government-issued ID or an original copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document that includes the voter’s name and current address in order to cast a regular ballot on Election Day. The Ohio Christian Alliance wants to change that to require a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot.