Senate Republican leaders plan to pass online voter registration by the end of June, but its fate remains unclear in the Ohio House. Ohio currently allows voters to update their registrations online, but full online registration is not available. The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee is expected to vote on the bill next week, after hearing from a variety of supporters on Wednesday. Several witnesses, including Secretary of State Jon Husted, a leading proponent of online voter registration, stressed similar themes: It reduces errors when compared with data keyed in by hand; saves money; makes the system more secure, and does little or nothing to change the political makeup of the voting electorate. Husted said data show savings of 50 cents to more than $2 per registration when done online.
Twenty states currently do online voter registration, and six others have approved it and are preparing their systems. No state has reported a security breach or fraudulent activity resulting from online registration, David Becker, director of election initiatives for the Pew Charitable Trusts, told the Senate committee.
“Why has online voter registration spread to so many states, red states and blue states alike? Because it is one of those rare win-wins in government,” Becker said.
The ACLU of Ohio, League of Women Voters of Ohio and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio all testified in support of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Fairlawn. A number of veterans groups also support it.