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Democrats Want Moratorium on New Election Laws and Directives

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 5:40 PM

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State leaders continue to make policy decisions regarding Ohio’s voting rules. But as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, Democrats want officials to put a stop to these changes.

House and Senate Democrats are calling for a moratorium on elections-related bills and directives.

Last week the governor signed two bills: one cuts a week off of in-person early voting and the other makes it so only the secretary of state can give permission to send out unsolicited absentee voting applications.

The Democrats are once again crying foul after Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted announced uniform voting hours for the general election. Democrats criticize the schedule for the lack of evening hours and excluding Sundays and the Monday before Election Day.

In his State of the State address, Republican Gov. John Kasich recognized the fact that it’s an election year for him, but called on the legislature to put politics in order to work on issues that can improve Ohio.

Democratic Representative Alicia Reese of Cincinnati said the governor can prove he’s serious by stopping these election-related actions.

“These bills are definitely partisan,” Reece said. “These directives are partisan. I think he can send a real message to the voters of Ohio by saying, ‘I will not sign any voter bills that come across my desk, let’s put a moratorium on it, General Assembly, cause there’s a lot of other issues we can be working on.’”

On Wednesday the House passed a bill that would make changes to provisional ballots. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati, says it’s an effort to codify federal court rulings. But Democrats accuse the bill of creating too many hurdles for voters and increases the possibility of discarded ballots.

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Environment, Government/Politics, Elections

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