Find your state representative at the Ohio House of Representatives home page.

Find your state Senator at the Ohio Senate home page.

You will need your zip code and the 4 digit extension. When you get the Representative’s name, click on it. That will bring you to their address, phone number or to a form to send an email.

Text of the bill is here.

More information from the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is here.

The following notes were sent to me by an activist. Republished in full with a few formatting changes.

These bills infringe on our most sacred right as Americans: the right to vote. If passed, they will take Ohio’s voting system backwards – to the time of long lings and voter disenfranchisement. The two Republican-led voter bills, HB 194 and SB 148, will do three main things: make it harder to vote, count fewer votes and eliminate local control for what’s right at the county-by-county level.

  1. The Plan Makes It Harder to Vote
    • The bills slash early voting days from 35 to as few as 6 days. Republicans claim it’s only as few as 10 days, but they aren’t counting their elimination of Sunday voting and their elimination of the busiest early voting days: the Monday and Saturday right before the election.
    • The bills cut Saturday voting accessibility down to just four hours and slice mail-in voting to by two weeks too.
    • Politifact recently gave Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted a “Pants on Fire” for the lies he told while testifying in support of slashing early voting accessibility.
    • The bills also make it easier to purge voters from the voter rolls, giving the Secretary of State unprecedented and unchecked authority.
  2. The Plan Makes Fewer Votes Count
    • Under the Republicans’ bills, a vote won’t be counted if a voter fills in the oval for a candidate and also writes in the name of the exact same candidate. This particularly disenfranchises low-income voters who aren’t familiar with optical scan ballots. An estimated 12,000 voters would have their ballots thrown out, even though their intent is 100 percent clear.
    • These bills require additional personal information from voters casting provisional ballots, including a voter’s full Social Security number, exposing voters to potential identity theft.
    • The bills make provisional ballots more complicated by requiring more information fields, which makes it more likely these votes would be thrown out.
    • Poll workers sometimes mistakenly direct voters to the wrong location or precinct table. Mistakes happen. These bills throw out a vote when it was not the fault of the voter, but of the poll-worker.
  3. The Plan Eliminates Local Control
    • The Republican bills take away the right of local boards of elections to determine how best to use resources to run smooth elections in their counties. Boards of elections would be forced to comply with a one-size-fits-all rule:
    • NO setting up satellite locations for early voting that are more accessible
    • NO setting early vote hours that make sense for their county
    • NO mailing of absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters
    • NO paying for postage for ballot return to ensure voters complete voting process
  4. These changes will result in longer Election Day lines and less voting accessibility for older voters and working voters.

BY THE NUMBERS
(Data cited is from the EAC Survey for 2008 and the Ohio Secretary of State.)

  • 1,744,753: Number of votes cast early in the state of Ohio in the last Presidential election.
  • 1,744,753: Number of votes at risk under this plan.
  • 10,187: Ballots cast in ’08 in the wrong precinct mostly due to poll worker error that will be thrown out.
  • 10: Percent chance a provisional ballot won’t count. This risk will get even higher under this plan.
  • 3: Ohio’s ranking (near the top of the list) of 50 states for throwing out wrong precinct ballots.
  • 12,207: Number of votes from ’08 with clear voter intent but that are rejected under these new bills.

The Republican Voter Disenfranchisement Plan is a bald-faced politicization of the voting process – a blatant attempt to take away countless Ohioans’ right to vote. Republicans know that when fewer Ohioans vote and when fewer votes are counted, their Party has a better chance to win elections. It is sad that they are using their power in state government to discourage voting and marginalize certain voters, rather than trying to improve Ohio’s economy.

danps

danps