Ohio Republicans Introduce Voter Suppression Bill
In light of the Republican Party’s incessant emphasis on voter fraud, the Republican GOP of Ohio has proposed House Bill 387, sponsored by two Republican state representatives, Bill Seitz of Green Township and Sharon A. Ray of Wadsworth in Medina County.
Democrats of Ohio must demand that the GOP Ohio House of Representatives remove their newly introduced bill that would eliminate voter suppression. This bill would require all voters to register to vote in person, eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, limit acceptable forms of photo identification, shorten the early voting period, and ban mail ballots returned via drop box from being counted. The disenfranchisement has even drawn criticism from some Republican legislators.
There are a number of new requirements in the bill designed to make it harder for Ohio voters to register, harder for them to vote, and harder for their votes to count. Putting these restrictions into law would not only disenfranchise tens of thousands of Ohioans every election cycle, but they would also unfairly favor conservative candidates. All Ohio Democrats should unite against voter suppression tactics like these, which threaten our ability to hold elected officials accountable at all levels of government.
Ohio needs to reduce long lines and give better service to people who vote in their local polling places. Legislators don’t need to erect more barriers to voting with a host of new restrictions and fees. Those who have previously been convicted of a crime should not be restricted from voting, as some Republican leaders have suggested recently.
Ohio’s bill needs to be changed immediately to make voting fair for all. This bill would make it harder to vote in a state where over 25% of the voters vote early, 35% use no-excuse absentee ballots, and 30% don’t have a photo ID. People who do not own cars or other forms of acceptable identification, such as passports, driver’s licenses, or students who struggle with long lines at understaffed polling places will be disproportionately affected by the new rules.