Election advocates urged lawmakers Thursday to refrain from passing any more changes to the state’s election laws, saying their actions to date already have caused too much confusion among voters. The League of Women Voters of Ohio, Common Cause Ohio and other groups want the Republicans who control the Ohio Senate and House to stop a pre-emptive repeal effort on House Bill 194, the controversial GOP-backed election-reform package that is the subject of a November referendum. And they want the Legislature to leave laws as-is until after the presidential election. “Enough already,” said Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. “In the last 12 months, the Legislature has considered but not passed a bill on voter ID. They passed a comprehensive voting bill, HB 194. Two weeks later, they went back and fixed things that they missed and mistakes they had made. … There was then a referendum effort on HB 194 to stop it from going into effect. And now, they are planning to pass a repeal of HB 194. … We’ve been told … that they plan to introduce and pass yet another election bill before they adjourn for the summer. All of this in 12 months. It’s too much.”
Lawmakers return to the Statehouse next week for what is expected to be a whirlwind month-and-a-half of legislative action, with a full agenda that includes Gov. John Kasich’s midbiennium budget revisions, a bill to ban unregulated private ownership of dangerous wild animals, rules affecting water usage from Lake Erie and substantive changes to Ohio’s oil and gas production and energy policies, among many other issues.
Included in the mix is a bill that would repeal House Bill 194, which proposed a number of changes to Ohio’s election laws, including eliminating the so-called “golden week” during which people can register to vote and cast ballots on the same day and prohibiting elections boards from sending unsolicited absentee-ballot applications to eligible voters.
Full Article: Youngstown News, Election-law changes opposed.