OH Senate Says ‘Yes’ to Faulty Election Reform Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2005

Contact: Stacey Gates at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

Today, the Republican majority in the Ohio Senate passed by a vote of 21-11 the complicated and lengthy House Bill 3, a bill that deserved more time and consideration from the Ohio Senate instead of an expedited track to becoming law.

Statement by Shaun Tucker, Ohio State Coordinator, People For the American Way

“On behalf of the 25,000 Ohio members of People For the American Way and our coalition allies, I must express disappointment that the Senate would push through such a massive omnibus bill without taking them time to allow adequate consideration of how this will affect Ohio voters.

“We are very concerned about several provisions in HB 3, including the burdensome restrictions on third party voter registration, the elimination of the requirement for random audits of voting machines, and the voter ID provisions. While HB 3 does not follow the disturbing national trend of requiring every voter to show ID – a practice that could disenfranchise millions – the voter ID provisions are far too complicated, and rely far too much on a single piece of mail that cannot be forwarded. HB 3 will result in a sharp increase in the use of provisional ballots – a long step in the wrong direction. We know from the last election that 22 percent of provisional ballots were thrown out. Those votes simply were not counted. That’s an unacceptable outcome.

“The passage of House Bill 3 is a temporary setback. We call on Governor Bob Taft to veto this legislation, and for the Ohio Senate to work together for election reform that all Ohioans can agree to. We will continue working with our 25,000 Ohio supporters, advocacy groups and Ohio legislators for meaningful reform that increases voter accessibility and participation, and prevents voter intimidation.”