As two controversial election bills head to the House floor today, Democrats and elections officials yesterday raised concerns about a third bill dealing with provisional ballots that is likely to get a committee vote this morning. Current provisional ballot envelopes require a voter’s printed name, a form of identification and the voter’s signature. Senate Bill 216 also would require the voter to add date of birth and a current and former address, plus check a box instructing the voter to provide those addresses. The new information would allow the envelope to double as a voter-registration form.
Ohio Association of Election Officials supports that intent, said Ken Terry, director of the Allen County Board of Elections. But officials have concerns that voters regularly make mistakes when filling out a date of birth and that the new checkbox “overcomplicates the envelope and provides an opportunity for the voter to make a fatal mistake.”
Terry said he hopes the date-of-birth issue will be fixed with an amendment today, including having to match only the day and month. But the checkbox issue does not appear resolved, even though elections officials want to make failing to check it a nonfatal error, meaning the vote still can be counted.