Jon Husted SHD Presentation

Husted Offers Alternative to Photo-ID Rule for Voters

Husted offers alternative to photo-ID rule for voters
His idea: Require full Social Security number in some cases

Thursday, April 7, 2011 02:30 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 7, 2011 05:05 PM
By Joe Vardon

The Columbus Dispatch

Eric Albrecht | Dispatch
Ohio Secretary of State Jon HustedOhio Secretary of State Jon Husted is proposing an alternative to the main component of a controversial House bill pushed by his fellow Republicans that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Husted said he would not change Ohio's current election-day process in which voters can prove their identities at the polls through a photo ID (such as a driver's license), a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government document with a current name and address.

"I believe that if you have a government-issued check, a utility bill in your name with your address on it, that no one made that up," Husted said to reporters following his speech during League of Women Voters of Ohio's annual Statehouse Day. "They didn't call AEP and establish utilities in their name to commit voter fraud."

House Bill 159, which passed the Republican-controlled House along party lines and is in the Senate, would require that anyone voting at the polls bring a driver's license, passport or other government-issued identification card that shows the person's current address and contains a photo. Otherwise, the person would cast a provisional ballot and then have to provide a photo ID to elections officials within 10 days to have the ballot count.

Husted, overseer of the election process in the state, said he believes voter fraud more often occurs on provisional ballots and in early voting. He is proposing that absentee voters and those voting provisionally provide all nine digits of their Social Security numbers, rather than the last four as required under existing law.

He said that proposal will be included in upcoming House and Senate bills.

"What I want to do is provide another option that I believe will solve the problem," Husted said.