Claim: The bill doesn’t add any automated voter registration to the voters’ experience. It continues the same Motor Voter policy in place since 1995. In fact, it explicitly excludes online BMV customers from the opportunity to register to vote…
Fact: House Bill 294 builds upon Motor Voter policies from 1995 and creates a modern, innovative system for the BMV to efficiently communicate with the Secretary of State’s voter registration database. Currently, BMVs offer voter registration to customers but they generally do so with a paper form. Under the new system created by this bill, a more secure digital platform will be able to tell a customer if they are currently registered, and allow them to update as much (or as little) information as necessary. It is also important to note that under this bill any interaction with a BMV now counts as a form of voter activity that prohibits a voter from being purged. The second assertion is moot given the creation of the secure, online absentee ballot request system made by the bill.
Claim: Keeps large numbers of young people from requesting mail ballots online by requiring two forms of ID, (incl. photo ID). The Plain Dealer reports that 17% of Ohio 18-year-olds don’t have photo ID.
Fact: This bill actually expands the current list of permissible forms of ID to include any of the following documentation (as long as it shows the voter’s correct address): utility bill, electronic copy of a utility bill, bank statement, and electronic copy of a bank statement. Persons without a photo ID may still request an absentee ballot through the mail, vote early in-person, or vote on Election Day, as none of those forms of voting require a photo ID.
Bill Seitz is Majority Floor Leader Ohio House of Representatives, 30th House District.
State Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati
Sharon A. Ray is an Ohio State Representative, 69th House District
Ohio Rep. Sharon Ray, R-Wadsworth