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Ohioans Could Decide on a Voter Bill of Rights This Fall

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Ohioans might have the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment this fall that would spell out specific provisions that must be available to voters. Paul DeMarco is the counsel for the Ohioans for Voter Bill of Rights. In an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, DeMarco spells out what this amendment proposes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 11:52 am

DEMARCO: "The purpose is to establish the right to vote and to have your vote counted as a fundamental right in Ohio and to flush out that right by specifically providing for how citizens are to carry out the right to vote and have their vote counted."

INGLES: "So specifically, you're talking about making sure weekend voting is part of the plan, correct?"

DEMARCO: "Yeah. We set in place weekend voting as part of the early voting process we already have. The Saturday and Sunday during the early -- 35-day early voting period is provided for in the amendment and the last two weekends before the general election, it actually provides for a specific number of hours that the polling place must be open, which is usually (at) the board of elections a minimum of 12 hours."

INGLES: "And then what other provisions are in there?"

DEMARCO: "Well it provides for online voter registration. It also provides for solutions to some long standing problems in the way Ohio has addressed problems at the polls. It declares poll worker error not to be a reason for not counting a ballot. It provides, I think, the most innovative ways that voters can verify their identities at the polling places. We provide no less than 15 options for voters to identify themselves in order to cast a ballot. And it also solves other problems that we've seen with provisional voting. And finally it takes away the ability of the state legislature to diminish voting rights and opportunities in Ohio. The General Assembly can expand them but they can’t diminish them."

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