Thursday, October 13, 2011
I voted today. Early voting is still allowed in Ohio, despite House Bill 194 and its attempt at voter suppression. Thanks to Jennifer Brunner spearheading the campaign against HB 194. We had less than one month to collect the necessary signatures and we exceeded it by more than 100,000 signatures. Congratulations to the Ohioans who signed the petitions to keep our precious right intact.
It is obvious that HB 194 targeted the elderly, the young and the poor to take away their ability to vote.
What Voter Suppression Bill HB 194 contains:
SEVERELY RESTRICTS VOTING RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES:
* Would dramatically reduce In-Person Early Voting from 35 days to 12 days (10 weekdays and 2 half-Saturdays)
* Would prohibit In-Person Early voting during the busiest 3 days of early voting (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday prior to Election Day)
* Would cut mail-in voting from 35 days to 21 days making it harder to receive and return a ballot in time.
* Would implement more aggressive registration purging without adequate assurances that qualified voters are not being removed from voting rolls.
NEEDLESSLY DISQUALIFIES ELIGIBLE VOTERS:
* Would impose stricter requirements: requires that votes be thrown out if every single field--including full Social Security number--is not completed on a Provisional or Absentee ballot envelope.
* Would throw out ballots: ballots would be thrown out where voter intent is clear, such as when a voter fills in the oval by a candidate's name and also writes in the same name. There were 12,207 of these votes in 2008.
* Would provide NO solution to Poll Worker error: rather than finding a solution to determining Poll Worker errors in provisional voting, HB 194 presumes voter error instead of error by trained Poll Workers. Poll Worker error would continue to cause ballots to be thrown out.
* Would create more provisional voting: HB 194 would increase the number of provisional ballots, which are less likely to be properly counted, by eliminating the requirement that Poll Workers be required to direct voters to their correct polling places and by prohibiting Poll Workers from helping voters to complete forms.
ELIMINATES LOCAL CONTROL AND REQUIRES "ONE SIZE FITS ALL" APPROACH:
* Prohibits setting up satellite locations for early voting unless 3 of 4 members approve.
* Prohibits setting early voting hours that make sense for the County even though some counties have fewer than 15,000 residents and others have more than 1,000,000 residents.
* Prohibits mailing of absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters to shorten election day lines and add convenience for busy working voters as well as elderly voters.
* Prohibits paying for postage for ballot return to ensure that voters complete voting process.