COLUMBUS- In response to the passage of an amendment to the Senate version of the Transportation budget that would require residents to obtain an Ohio driver’s license in order to practice their right to vote, Ohio Democratic Party leaders released the following statements:
“This is yet another appalling assault on voting rights in the state of Ohio,” said Chair of Party Engagement and former State Senator Nina Turner. “Year after year, the Republicans in our state legislature have abused their power – power bestowed upon them by the voters of Ohio – to pass one bill after another stripping away access to the ballot box.
“The only way to stop this madness is to awaken the sleeping giants in Ohio and across the nation, and join forces to protect the greatest equalizer so many of our ancestors fought and died to exercise. I echo the call of Leader Schiavoni and my colleagues in the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus for Governor Kasich to line-item veto this amendment, if it remains in the budget.”
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper added, “Sadly, it’s become an annual tradition in Ohio for Jon Husted and Mike DeWine to get hauled into federal court, losing again and again because Ohio leaders don’t seem to be able to follow basic Constitutional law. Hopefully House leaders and Governor Kasich come to their senses and avoid another costly, losing lawsuit.”
Ohio Senate Democrats were successful in eliminating other egregious amendments to the transportation budget, such as removing provisions that would have hurt local jobs and unfairly singled out non-citizens on their driver’s licenses. Upon passage of the amendment to the state transportation budget, Senate Democrats sent Governor Kasich a letter calling on him to line-item veto this voting provision if it remains included when it reaches his desk.
Student organizations from across the state have weighed in against the proposal, including from the following schools: Kenyon, Wright State, Columbus State, Capital University, University of Toledo, Ohio University, Youngstown State, Akron, The Ohio State University, Marietta College, Miami University, Oberlin, and the University of Dayton.
This issue has received national attention, and Nina Turner will appear on MSNBC’s The Ed Show tonight to discuss this critical issue affecting voting in Ohio.