LOG YOUR CALL: We need to protect Ohioans' freedom to vote, not put up barriers to the ballot box

On November 17, 2022, Republican members of the House Government Oversight Committee introduced Substitute House Bill 294—a new version of a voting bill that we first saw last year. Sub HB 294 is worse than the original bill. It will harm Ohio voters and make it more difficult to vote. The new version of the bill no longer includes automated voter registration and verification—the most significant positive component of the original HB 294. Here are just a few additional reasons the bill limits our freedom to vote. Sub HB 294:

  • Prohibits the Secretary of State, Boards of Election or any public official from sending unsolicited absentee ballot request forms and prohibits prepaid return postage for absentee ballot requests and absentee ballots;

  • Eliminates the last day of early voting, reallocating the lost hours during weekdays, but not during the final weekend, while codifying a confusing early voting schedule with variable weekday hours during the final week of early voting;

  • Shortens the time for voters to request absentee ballots and also shortens the time for Boards to accept voted ballots;

  • Limits County Boards of Election to 3 drop boxes, only allows them to be set up at the county board office, and only permits their use starting 28 days before an election;

  • Eliminates curbside voting provisions that were in the original HB 294;

  • Continues the prohibition of grandchildren dropping off absentee ballots and creates new criminal penalties for unauthorized ballot returns; and

  • Requires citizenship status to be listed on Ohio driver’s licenses.

Call your lawmaker in the Ohio House and urge them to VOTE NO on Sub. HB 294 because it will increase barriers to the ballot for Ohio voters.  You can find their phone number here.

Here’s an idea of what to say: “My name is [Your Name] and I live in [Your Town]. I urge you to vote no on Sub HB 294. We need to protect Ohioans’ freedom to vote, not put up barriers to the ballot box. The restrictions written into this bill do nothing to increase access to the ballot or solve problems faced by voters. Please stand with Ohio voters and oppose this bill.”

Once you have made your call, click "Log your call" to tell us what happened.

On behalf of the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition Steering Committee, thank you for taking action!

- All Voting is Local Action, ACLU of Ohio, Common Cause, League of Women Voters of Ohio, and Ohio Voice

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