On Thursday (December 15), legislators in Ohio sent a GOP-backed bill requiring voters to photo ID when voting to the state’s Republican governors desk — Gov. Mike DeWine.
The legislation would replace current measures in place to verify voter information like bank statements or utility bills and passed in the state’s House of Representatives 55-32.
Part of the bill reduces the time voters can request and submit absentee ballots in addition to eliminating early voting occurring on the eve of Election Day.
The state’s House of Representatives had considered two competing laws regarding voting restrictions, deciding to send the more restrictive of the two to the Governor’s desk.
In response to questions about whether he’d sign the legislation into law, DeWine indicated he would read the law before making his decision.
The Ohio governor referenced the assurance given by the last two state secretaries, saying both declared the voting system in the state to be “very good.”
DeWine added, “It’s easy to vote [and] hard to cheat.”
Republicans are touting the measures in the bill as guaranteeing election security. In contrast, Democrats and voting rights activists believe the legislation will be more restricting, making it increasingly difficult for Ohioans to vote.
Democratic State Rep. Richard Brown especially took issue with the legislation removing Election Day eve voting, comparing it to “banning” Black Friday or Christmas eve shopping.
The state’s legislature passing the voting law comes in the wake of a flurry of GOP-led states passing similar legislation to combat alleged voter fraud that took place in 2020.