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Innovation Ohio · May 8, 2021

Problems with HB 294 — Ohio’s Anti-Voter Bill

It will take all of us to stop the anti-voter bill threatening Ohioans’ rights.

  • Most Ohioans believe:
    • Every eligible person should be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
    • Every voter should have equal access to the process.
    • We should be able to trust in the integrity of our elections. 
  • Ohioans across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support policies that help everyone exercise their right to vote:
    • Prepaid postage on absentee ballots and ballot requests
    • Secure ballot drop boxes available throughout each county
    • Multiple early vote centers
    • Mailing all eligible voters an absentee ballot application
  • HB 294 is the opposite of what Ohioans want.
  • HB 294 is worse than voter suppression. It’s voter selection.
    • This bill helps very specific people (rich, white, traditional Republicans) vote. It makes voting a lot harder for everyone else. 
    • This bill lets Ohio’s Republican supermajority decide who gets to vote. 
    • To be blunt: HB 294 is about Rich, White Voting Rights.

WHAT HB 294 DOES:

  • Cuts early voting hours
    • Removes the last Monday of Early Vote
  • Severely limits ballot drop boxes by:
    • Allowing only one drop box location per county, no matter the county population/size
    • Banning the use of drop boxes until 10 days before an election
  • Limits access to absentee ballots
    • It stops the state from accepting ballot requests 10 full days before an election.
      • Therefore Ohioans could no longer request an absentee ballot using the drop box.
  • Forces most Ohioans to pay for postage on absentee ballots / ballot request forms
  • Makes it much easier to vote in some small counties than in major urban areas by failing to address current proportionality issues (and actually writing some of the issues into law).
    • There would be the same number of drop boxes and early voting locations for a county of 8,000 vs a county of 800,000.
  • Even the pieces of this bill that seem positive are actually problematic.
    • Example: HB 294 adds an online ballot request option….with such a strict ID requirement that most college students can’t even use it.
  • HB 294 will institute discriminatory barriers that make it harder for certain Ohioans to vote. The bill will disproportionately impact:
    • Military voters
    • Low-income Ohioans
    • Black and brown Ohioans
    • College students
    • Ohioans with disabilities
    • Housing insecure Ohioans
    • Rural Ohioans
    • Elderly Ohioans
  • HB 294 punishes Ohioans for being poor.
    • Don’t have a car?
    • Can’t afford postage?
    • Don’t have two forms of ID?
    • Frequent address changes?
      HB 294 makes it much harder for you to vote.

TAKE ACTION. Tell these legislators to kill HB 294. Tell them Ohio is watching.

MORE INFORMATION

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Tagged in these Policy Areas: Democracy