Action Alert:Tell Ohio House Don't Restrict Absentee Voting

Do you value absentee voting? Do you appreciate how easy and convenient it is to vote early? That could change if the Ohio Legislature has its way.

The Ohio House is expected to vote next week on a package of election bills:

-SB 205 imposes new restrictions on absentee voting.

-SB 238 eliminates "golden week" by cutting the first week of absentee and early voting.

-SB 216 makes changes - some good and some bad - in provisional ballot voting.

You can read LWVO's testimony on all of these bills here.

SB 205 is by far the most troubling of these bills, as it will erect unnecessary barriers to absentee voting. Unfortunately, despite testimony by the League and others, many of our concerns with this bill remain.

SB 205 prohibits any government official except the Secretary of State from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to registered voters. The prohibition is so broad that it would even prevent county Boards of Elections from automatically providing absentee applications to all of its poll workers. Furthermore, it does not require the Secretary of State to send applications every year, so voters will not know from year to year whether to expect one.

SB 205 requires that all five blanks on the absentee application or absentee ballot envelope be filled out completely or it will be rejected, even for minor mistakes. This section blatantly violates federal law that says states cannot reject voting forms for immaterial errors or omissions.

SB 205 has serious problems that have not been fixed and we recommend focusing on this bill. Please contact your state Representative and urge a NO vote on SB 205.

Click here to look up your Representative. Please let us know when you have contacted your Representative and if you receive a response.

Thank you,

LWV Ohio Advocacy Team