Residents would be registered to vote automatically when seeking driver’s licenses or interacting with other state agencies, under legislation planned in the Ohio House and Senate. The bills also would allow online voter registration and automatically register graduating high school students. The proposed law changes will be offered by Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Sen. Kenny Yuko (D-Cleveland), who said in released statements April 24 that the legislation would add more than a million Ohioans to the state’s voter rolls. “It’s 2015 and with all the technology we have at our disposal, there is no good reason not to modernize our voter registration system,” Clyde said. “We can easily make a list of all eligible voters in our state.
The Registration Modernization Act will empower the people of Ohio to make their voices heard. Democracy only works when the people participate. Ohio lags the highest-voter-turnout states by 10 percentage points. We aim to fix that.”
Clyde and other lawmakers have offered similar legislation in past general assemblies. Oregon recently enacted automatic voter registration, becoming the first state to do so.
“… Other states are looking to make these improvements,” Clyde said. “I think that both Democrats and Republicans should consider bringing this modernization to the state of Ohio.” She added, “It would register more people and it would make the registration process more convenient.”