The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that updates various laws pertaining to voter registration, as well as procedures for casting, processing and reviewing in-person absentee ballots. The goal of House Bill 41, sponsored by Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville), is to ensure that in-person absentee voters are afforded the same streamlined process as Election Day voters experience. “House Bill 41 enacts common-sense and much-needed reforms to our absentee voter and registration laws,” Pelanda said. “The bill eases the ability of the public in Ohio to participate in our voting process and has received the full support of the Ohio Association of Election Officials.”
Under current law, an in-person absentee voter is required to complete an application and envelope at the board of elections, identical to mail-in absentee voters. HB 41 eliminates this needless paperwork for in-person absentee voters, increasing efficiency and reducing expenses for taxpayers.
Instead, voters would simply present a valid form of voter identification—driver’s license, bank statement, utility bill, etc.—and, upon completion, would run their ballot through a scanner. The scanner would provide immediate feedback if the voter has made a mistake, and the ballot would be held until Election Day without being counted.