A Republican senator wants to make voter registration available online, a move he says will make voting more accessible to Ohioans while also saving money for boards of election across the Buckeye State. Sen. Frank LaRose introduced his plan Thursday. It would direct the secretary of state to create a secure statewide system online that voters could use to register. “The big picture is … to make the process more accessible and also more accurate and efficient,” LaRose said in an interview. His proposal also would set up a secure system to let voters request absentee ballots, and would expand the number of state agencies that share data they already collect to check against the state’s voter database to correct errors.
“I’ve been working with this piece of legislation for a while,” LaRose said. “I didn’t introduce it previously because we were working the bugs out of it, and I think we’re there.”
Already the secretary of state’s offices gets data from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles on new addresses, which it shares electronically with county boards of elections across Ohio. LaRose’s bill would expand that, drawing on data now collected from state agencies like the Department of Health, the Department of Jobs and Family Services and the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
LaRose, from Copley Township near Akron, said the time has come for Ohio to make the move. He believes it can be set up so that it is secure, accurate and will not open the door to false registrations.