Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 5:19 PM
The Ohio House has passed two bills that have already been passed by the Ohio Senate that would change Ohio’s election laws. For Ohio Public Radio, Jo Ingles reports.
The Ohio House has passed two bills that have already been passed by the Ohio Senate that would change Ohio’s election laws. One prevents counties from sending out absentee ballots. The other reduces the number of days during which Ohioans can vote. Democratic House Minority Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard says these bills and more that are poised to pass the Republican dominated Ohio legislature are politically motivated.
"There is an effort to suppress a vote that generally turns out for Democrats," Heard said. "It’s a very political strategy and it’s done under the designation of voter fraud. And we've demonstrated less than 1.1 percent or something like 0.00003 percent of fraud in the state of Ohio so they're solving a problem that doesn’t exist."
But Republican State Rep. Matt Huffman says it’s the Democrats who are politically motivated in this battle over election reform bills.
"It’s just business," Huffman said. "They're trying to win elections by keeping us from making reforms, because it’s good for them. But we also have to understand why they're doing it. Allowing somebody four weeks before the election to vote, allowing them to mail in their ballot, making it clear how you register -- all of the things that you have to do -- is not voter suppression. And yeah, it’s hard for me to get the phrase out without chuckling a little bit."
These two bills, which have already passed in the Ohio Senate, are just a couple of pieces of legislation that are being considered that would making sweeping changes to Ohio’s election laws regarding early voting, provisional voting, voter registration and voter identification.