Veto HB 458: No to Strict Photo ID

At the very end of the Lame Duck session, Republican leaders passed terrible new voting restrictions into law, when they approved Substitute House Bill 458. This bill will especially hurt Black and Brown voters, students, voters with disabilities, low-income Ohioans, active duty military, rural voters and seniors. These radical changes came in the wee hours of the morning, after lawmakers spent the last two days wheeling and dealing in back rooms instead of engaging in meaningful research, analysis or public debate.

The Senate Local Government Committee transformed a simple bill to eliminate August special elections into a complete election overhaul that creates large barriers to the ballot box and will create massive confusion at the polls. Unless Governor DeWine vetoes this bill voters will lose many important voting freedoms, including:

  • Voters will lose the freedom to vote with an alternate form of ID such as a utility bill, government document, or paycheck. Voters will be forced to provide a strict photo ID to vote, whether voting in person on Election Day, or provisionally;

  • Voters will lose the last Monday day of early voting, one of the most popular days of early voting.

  • Voters will lose the freedom to vote provisionally with the last four digits of their social security number, unless they have religious exemption that excuses them from the strict photo ID requirement;

  • Voters will be punished by slow mail delivery. Voters will have their absentee ballots thrown out if their ballots are not received within four days of Election Day (this shorter deadline applies to overseas and military voters as well). Previously absentee ballots that contained a timely postmark were counted as long as the post office delivered ballots to the boards of elections within 10 days following Election Day;

  • Voters will lose access to dropboxes by limiting Boards of Election to a single drop box location, open only during business hours only, and limited to the early voting period;

  • Voters lose the ability to have postage for their absentee ballot requests and ballots prepaid by the government;

  • Noncitizens risk being targeted and harassed by a new requirement to list citizenship status on Ohio driver’s license;

  • Going forward, only voters with physical disabilities will be allowed to access curbside voting; and

  • Grandchildren would continue to be prohibited from dropping off their grandparents’ absentee ballots.

That’s why we are urging you to take action now – send an email to Governor DeWine now urging him to veto HB 458.

On behalf of the Ohio Voter RIghts Coalition Steering Committee, thank you for taking action.

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

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