Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Update: Same-Day Early Voting Ban in Ohio

An update to our report last week regarding GOP lawmakers in Ohio and their attempt to end same-day registration in the state. From the AP:
The Republican-controlled Ohio Senate approved a bill Tuesday that eliminates a weeklong window during which people can register and vote on the same day.

The 19-to-11 vote came over the objections of Gov. Ted Strickland, elections chief Jennifer Brunner and other Democrats, who have said voter convenience is being removed without evidence that the window created problems.

Supporters of the bill have said same-day registration and voting invites fraud.
If passed by the House and signed into law, the bill would eliminate the window by changing the dates when absentee ballots will be made available to early voters.
State Senator Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican who sponsored the bill, said it is impossible to know whether fraud occurred in November because Brunner blocked access to some of the identifying voter information needed to do cross-checks. About 13,000 people registered and voted on the same day.

Brunner spokesman Jeff Ortega said county boards of elections have always had access to the mismatch information, just not in the format that some might want.
The bill was hastily written and needlessly complicated, Ortega said.

The GOP-controlled House was to continue hearings on the bill Wednesday. 

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