Editorials: Ohio Governor Kasich’s far-seeing veto of SB 296 and its virtual poll tax | Cleveland Plain Dealer

Secretary of State Jon Husted on Friday rightly applauded fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich’s wise veto of Senate Bill 296 – which had the potential to become a punitive poll tax on those Ohioans who sought to preserve their constitutional voting rights by appealing to a judge to keep polls open late. Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed a controversial elections bill that would have required voters seeking a county court order keeping the polls open to post bond. The bill would have required a potentially crushing bond to be posted by anyone asking a judge to keep polls open after hours for any reason. One example: problems with electronic poll books that plagued Hamilton County voters last November, prompting a (Republican) Common Pleas judge to order polls kept open until 9 p.m. Our editorial board condemned SB 296, sponsored by state Sen. William Seitz, a Republican from Hamilton County, and called for such a veto. And Kasich agreed, saying Friday in his veto statement that “prohibiting state court judges from exercising their discretion to waive [a bond] in only these types of cases is inequitable” and might deter citizens from seeking a court ruling to allow after-hours voting even “when there may be a valid reason for doing so.” Kasich’s right – so right, that it’s unlikely GOP lawmakers will vote to overturn his veto, even though they have the votes to do so.

Ohio: John Kasich vetoes bill requiring cash to extend voting hours | Cincinnati Inquirer

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday vetoed a bill fast-tracked by lawmakers in his party that would have required a payment, possibly thousands of dollars, if a judge ordered polls to stay open longer on Election Day. The bill would have made Ohio the first state to require money from voters who successfully sue to extend voting hours. The change was championed by Republican lawmakers after judges in Southwest Ohio kept polls open late during the March and November elections. But Democrats, voter advocates and even Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted had said it wasn’t necessary to require a cash bond in those situations. In vetoing the bill, Kasich said he found the requirement to set bond at a minimum of $1 could keep people from raising valid issues about voting problems. “One wonders why these trifling excuses should enable chaos at the polls this fall,” responded Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Green Township, who drafted the bill, in a scathing statement. “Without the bill, there could be 88 different sets of voting hours in Ohio’s 88 counties set by state court judges bent on appeasing their political allies to rig the elections. Should this occur, the blame will fall squarely on the Governor.”