League of Women Voters Voter Registration Buttons

EDITORIAL NOTE: This guest blog was written by Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio

Earlier this year, we helped LWVUS shine a spotlight on some dangerous bills that were working their way through the Ohio Legislature. Unfortunately, Ohio is at it again. In the last two weeks, Ohio has enacted four major anti-voter changes to voting rules that will be in place for the general election this November, including some of the provisions we highlighted before the legislature returned to session in January.

These anti-voter provisions include:

The League of Women Voters of Ohio and our coalition partners presented extensive testimony expressing our concerns with the proposed legislation and tried to work with legislators to craft amendments to fix problems with the bills. Regrettably, despite our efforts, many problems remain in the final bills and Ohio Governor John Kasich ignored our plea to veto these voting restrictions.

So what’s next in Ohio? We’re not done, but we are switching gears.

We have three critical tasks ahead of us in 2014, which includes not only the Congressional midterm elections, but also the elections of all of Ohio’s statewide offices:

  1. Voter service. Not surprisingly, none of these bills or directives included funding to educate voters about the new rules in advance of this fall’s elections. Thus, it falls to the League and other voter advocates around the state to help voters navigate all these changes (PDF).
  2. Making the case for free, fair and accessible elections. We cannot let these cuts go unanswered. Ohio policy-makers need to hear from voters loud and clear that it’s time to make voting more accessible, not less, by restoring evening and weekend voting.
  3. Voter Registration. Like every year, we also remain committed to registering as many new voters as possible. Local Leagues across the state are integral to this effort.

We hope in our next report, we’ll be able to share our successes on these and other issues.

Keep up to date with the League of Women Voters of Ohio on Facebook and Twitter.