The transportation budget bill that the General Assembly has sent Gov. John Kasich includes a noxious amendment that would discourage out-of-state college students from voting in Ohio. The governor should veto this irresponsible provision before he signs the bill. The Republican-controlled state Senate inserted the provision without public hearings or much debate. It would require people who want to vote in Ohio to get in-state driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations no later than 30 days after they register to vote. That mandate requires would-be voters to incur costs of $75 or more; violators could face criminal charges. The provision would particularly affect the 100,000-plus out-of-state students who attend Ohio colleges and universities.
… Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, the state’s chief elections official, said the provision “is about residency for purposes of vehicle registration with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and has nothing to do with participation in elections.” But if the requirement is unrelated to voting, why tie it to voter registration?
Ohio law sensibly requires new residents to get in-state driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations once they move here, though it doesn’t set a deadline for doing so. The new rule would create such a deadline only for residents who want to vote. If lawmakers seek to specify a timetable for motorists to obtain in-state documentation, they can do that without linking it to voting rights and threatening voters with criminal charges.
Full Article: More vote suppression – Toledo Blade.