After discussion with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, Senate Republicans removed a provision in an elections reform bill on Wednesday that would require Ohio voters to present government-issued photo identification at the polls.
Husted opposes the voter ID requirement that was inserted into the bill on Tuesday. But the issue lives on in a separate bill that is slated for a hearing and possible vote on Thursday morning.
Requiring photo ID to vote sparked outrage from voting rights groups, unions, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio Democratic Party and others.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern, the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and the ACLU of Ohio promised to file federal lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the photo ID requirement, saying it amounts to a poll tax and disenfranchises low-income, disabled and minority voters.
Ohio State University law professor Daniel Tokaji, an elections law expert, said there is no evidence that Ohio has problems with voter impersonation at the polls. In his research, he said he found only one instance of voter impersonation in Ohio over the past 10 years and it involved an absentee voter.
“You don’t have to be an election law professor to figure out what is going on here. This is a power grab. It is a transparent effort by Republicans to make it more difficult for Democrats to vote,” Tokaji said at an Ohio Legislative Black Caucus press conference.
Full Article: Voter ID provision yanked from bill | Ohio politics.