Voting advocates on Thursday urged Gov. John Kasich to veto bills headed for his desk that they argue could make it more difficult to cast a ballot and be sure it was counted. The Ohio Senate has gone home for the year, but the state House of Representatives is expected to return next week to consider several election-related bills passed by the upper chamber. The measures would increase the information voters must provide to obtain absentee ballots and prohibit mass-mailing of absentee ballot applications to registered voters by any public official other than the secretary of state — and even then, only when the General Assembly appropriates funding. Another would reduce the number of days for absentee voting by mail or in person to eliminate the so-called “Golden Week,” in which would-be voters could register and then immediately cast a ballot. Yet another would increase information sharing among governmental entities, such as death certificates and driver’s license information, for cross-referencing with the state’s voter-registration database and change the formula to require fewer voting machines.
More controversial bills have been introduced that would do such things as further restrict early voting days and hours and require voters to show photo identification. Those have yet to see action.
Some measures would re-enact, on a piecemeal basis, provisions similar to those included in a Republican-backed law passed in 2011 that was repealed months later by the Republican majority once it was clear a referendum challenging it was headed to the ballot.
“What we see now is a rebuilding of House Bill 194 brick by brick …,” said Deirdre Reese, coordinator of the Columbus-based Ohio Unity Coalition. “We have seen bills rush through so quickly, it really should make your head spin.”
Full Article: Legislators deciding election issues | Norwalk Reflector.