Ohio Democrats Speak Out against Regressive Anti-Voter Proposal Circulated by Statehouse Republicans
April 26, 2021
Columbus, OH — Today, Ohio Democrats held a virtual press conference to speak out against regressive legislation being circulated by statehouse Republicans that makes it harder for Ohioans to vote and creates confusion for voters, taking major steps backward in the fight for voting rights in Ohio.
“Statehouse Republicans are creating an obstacle course for Ohioans to navigate, making it harder to exercise their right to vote. We should be removing barriers to the voting booth, not creating new ones,” said Senate Assistant Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood).
“It’s important to remember that this regressive legislation is only the latest in a series of efforts by Ohio Republicans to walk back voting rights in our state. While many voting rights advocates are rightly concerned about the legislation in Georgia — for the Ohio GOP, Georgia was simply a starting point,” said Representative Phil Robinson (D-Solon).
“If we’re serious about making our state more competitive and encouraging our young people to stay here, we should create laws that reflect the needs of our residents and make their lives easier. Instead, the Ohio GOP insists on introducing bills that continue to take Ohio backward and that attack Ohioans’ fundamental rights,” said Representative Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland).
“Democrats are committed to improving the voting system in Ohio and making our elections safe and accessible for Ohioans. In fact, we’ve introduced many bills to do just that. But these GOP proposals aren’t serious efforts to help Ohio voters, they’re extreme measures that only make it more difficult for Ohioans to have their voices heard. And we won’t sit quietly as Republican politicians attack the right to vote once again,” said Representative Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo).
“We’re proud of the work we do to make voting easy for our residents and the resources we provide to help Ohioans cast their ballot. But proposals like this one from Columbus Republicans make it harder for local elections officials to do our job,” said Hamilton County Board of Elections Chair Gwen McFarlin.
The regressive GOP proposal currently being circulated would make it harder for Ohioans to vote by:
- Eliminating a day of early voting on the Monday before Election Day,
- Cutting off Ohioans’ ability to request an absentee ballot 10 days out from an election, removing a week that Ohioans were previously able to request an absentee ballot,
- Requiring two forms of ID for online absentee ballot requests,
- Prohibiting anyone but the Secretary of State from providing prepaid postage for absentee ballot request returns and providing no funding for the Secretary to be able to do so,
- Codifying Frank LaRose’s nonsensical limit of one dropbox location per county that can only be used in cases of emergency, but making a confusing exception to the rule 10 days out from an election, and
- Forcing Ohioans to opt-in to ‘automated’ voter registration through the BMV, meaning voter registration isn’t automated at all.