Ohio lawmakers pass new provisional ballot rules


Ohio lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill setting forth when provisional ballots are counted in the political swing state and what it takes to cast one.

Provisional ballots include those cast when voters don’t bring proper ID to the polls or cast them in the wrong precinct.

The bill passed by the House and Senate Wednesday would put into law recent federal court action that requires provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, but right polling location, to be counted. The goal of the legislation was to reduce the number of ballots rejected for voting in the wrong precinct but correct polling place.

Some polling places contain voting machines for several precincts.

The measure, which Gov. John Kasich likely will sign, would cut the number of days provisional voters would have to prove their identity and eligibility to seven from 10. The bill keeps in place current rules that election officials not count the ballots for at least 10 days.

The bill would also require voters to provide their date of birth and current address on the provisional ballot affirmation in order for the ballot to be eligible to be counted. It also bans provisional ballot cast in the wrong precinct and the incorrect polling location from being counted.

The bill passed along party lines in the GOP-controlled House and Senate, typical of several recent voting-related bills. Republicans said the measure would simplify the process of casting provisional ballots, while Democrats called it voter suppression.

The legislation “is one of a series of bills that promote uniform access at the polls for all voters while modernizing Ohio’s elections processes,” said Rep. Mike Dovilla, a Republican from Berea in northeast Ohio and chairman of the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee.

Opponents say it will increase the number of fields a voter must fill out for the ballot to count and criticized shrinking the number of days a voter has to return to a local elections board to show identification.

State Rep. Kevin Boyce, a Democrat from Columbus, said it violates the principles of the 1965 Voter Rights Act, calling it “a vote against civil rights for Ohioans.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Jimmy Kimmel shares update on infant son following heart surgery
Jimmy Kimmel shares update on infant son following heart surgery

A few months ago, Jimmy Kimmel revealed that his newborn son, Billy, was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease. The newborn was found to have a “hole in the wall of the left and right side of his heart.” Kimmel broke down on his show as he described his son going into surgery and described the wait as “the longest three hours...
Car thief suspects caught on camera arrested in same clothes in Springfield
Car thief suspects caught on camera arrested in same clothes in Springfield

Two men caught on camera stealing a car in Richmond were still wearing the same clothes when they were arrested in Springfield, deputies said. Richmond, Indiana, police on Tuesday notified the Clark County Sheriff’s Office that a stolen black Pontiac G6 could be in the Springfield area. A short time later, a deputy spotted the car near Springfield...
Owl in wheel of plane delays flight out of Portland airport
Owl in wheel of plane delays flight out of Portland airport

A flight out of Portland International Airport was delayed last week when flight crew saw a owl in a plane. KGW reported that a barn owl was in the wheel well of a small PenAir plane. The plane was at the airport overnight and was stored in an older hanger that typically has owls around it, according to an airline spokesman. Crew members found...
Prince George celebrates his fourth birthday with official portrait
Prince George celebrates his fourth birthday with official portrait

Prince George will be celebrating his fourth birthday on Saturday. In anticipation of the little prince’s day, Kensington Palace has released a new portrait of George. E! Online reports that the photo was taken by Chris Jackson of Getty Images, who takes many photos for the royal family. “The Duke and Duchess are very pleased to share...
Chipotle food scare highlights issue that impacts thousands annually
Chipotle food scare highlights issue that impacts thousands annually

Chipotle is grappling with more cases of foodborne illness, an issue that causes one in six Americans to get sick annually after consuming contaminated foods or beverages. The company’s stock has taken a hit this week following foodborne illness issues at a restaurant in Virginia and a report of rodents scurrying around at one of their restaurants...
More Stories