Columbus, OH — As Ohio House Democrats continue their weeklong Freedom to Vote Town Hall Tour, every day this week the Ohio Democratic Party will be digging in deeper to harmful provisions included in statehouse Republicans’ anti-voter legislation that takes Ohio backward in the fight for voting rights.
Today, ODP is focused on provisions in the bill that will limit Ohioans’ ability to vote by absentee ballot, including language that would require two forms of identification to even request an absentee ballot and that would cut off Ohioans’ ability to request an absentee ballot 10 days out from an election, removing a week that Ohioans were previously able to do so.
More than 3.5 million Ohioans voted absentee last year, more than half of all ballots cast. Adding more barriers to absentee voting would harm Ohioans who want to exercise their right to vote, including servicemembers serving overseas whose ballots aren’t exempt from the 10 day rule, working Ohioans who may not be able to make it to the polls on Election Day and many lower-income Ohioans who don’t have access to two forms of ID.
“Absentee voting isn’t a luxury, it’s how many Ohioans exercise their right to vote, including Ohio servicemembers and working families. Ohioans already have enough barriers to overcome in order to make their voices heard, and now Republican politicians are inserting even more confusion and challenges into the process. That’s unacceptable,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.
As recent commentary from the Ohio Capital Journal succinctly put it: “These are hoops to jump through that discourage voting, not encourage it. That’s how you suppress voter engagement.”