Terra Goodnight · July 20, 2020
After a quiet month of summer break, the Ohio Senate returns for a day of committee hearings and floor votes tomorrow, and, at the top of their agenda, is HB 680, an election bill that makes it harder to vote early, in-person, and by mail, and does nothing to improve the safety or accessibility of voting in November. The bill was passed by the Ohio House last month on a party-line vote. Tomorrow the Senate will get its turn.
Despite repeatedly saying he wants to allow Ohioans to request an absentee ballot online and that forcing voters to pay for return postage is likely “unconstitutional,” Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is inexplicably supporting the passage of HB 680.
Reports suggest the Secretary of State and local election officials are primarily interested in moving up the deadline to request an absentee ballot, but if that’s the case, they should condition their endorsement on improvements to the bill that make it easier — not harder — for Ohioans to exercise alternatives to voting in person on election day.
The bill is up for its first and last Senate hearing tomorrow, setting it up for a likely floor vote at tomorrow’s 1:30 pm session. See “Statehouse Meetings and Events” below for details on watching or testifying at tomorrow’s hearing.
Here is a tool you can use to send a note to your State Senator to ask them to fix HB 680.
House Bill 680 — up for a vote in the Ohio Senate as early as tomorrow, July 21 — does nothing to make our elections safer or more accessible in November.
Contact your state Senator and ask them to amend HB 680 with the following voting improvements:
Below are some of the new bills introduced in the last several weeks since we last sent an update. You can also view the complete list of bills we’re tracking.
Voting Advocates Release Letter to Secretary LaRose Laying Out Steps He Can Immediately Take For Safe and Accessible Election
How Ohio’s Secretary of State Can Ensure a Safe & Successful General Election
New Report: With Ohio Legislature In Chaos, Frank LaRose Must Act
Ohio Democratic Leaders Condemn Republican Voter Suppression Bill, Call on LaRose to Take More Proactive Action
Republicans introduce, fast track, bill making voting harder