News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Don Drumm Studios

Akron Children's Hospital


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Ohio lawmakers debate voting bills
Several bills are under consideration in the Statehouse, less than one year from a big election
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Republican Sen. Bill Coley of Cincinnati
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Republicans and Democrats in the Statehouse are battling fiercely over bills that could change laws that determine when and how people can vote.

As Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, this has a lot to do with next year’s big statewide election.

Hear more from Kasler on a recap of the voting proposals in Statehouse

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:47)


All five statewide executive offices are on the ballot next year – governor, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and treasurer, along with the entire Ohio House and half the Ohio Senate.

Plus there could be several important ballot issues, so naturally proposed legislation is coming forward on voting.

Republican Sen. Bill Coley of Cincinnati has pushed a bill that would allow absentee ballot applications to be sent out to all voters so they can vote early in presidential and gubernatorial contests. But it would allow only the Secretary of State to do that, not individual boards of elections. 


“I think the whole purpose here was to set up a common set of rules that are enforced across the state uniformly and really bring some consistency across the state that is dictated by the General Assembly and not the courts,” Coley said.

Democratic Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland is running for Secretary of State next year, and says there’s an important thing to note in that bill. 

“Only if the General Assembly appropriates the dollars will that happen,” Turner said. “Whereas we have right now, in terms of having the local control that’s counties in this state can determine whether or not they need to mail those out. Uniformity may sound good, but in larger counties, like Cuyahoga, might not have the same needs as a Butler County.”

Turner: Ohio pride
Coley and Turner don’t agree on his bill – and nor do they see eye-to-eye on a proposal in the Senate that would shorten the early voting window from 35 days to 29 days.

Turner says Ohio should be proud to have one of the longest early voting periods in the nation, but Coley says starting absentee voting more than a month from Election Day is a problem. 


“I believe early voting started the morning of the first debate,” Coley said. “So there were many Ohioans who voted before the first presidential debate in the last election. I don’t know that not giving a voter, of course a voter has an opportunity to wait. But to almost embrace a policy whereby people will be voting before the first time they even see the two candidates head-to-head, I just don’t know that that’s a good policy for the state of Ohio.” 

Specter of photo ID is back
“But it’s a choice,” Turner said. “It’s a choice. The voter doesn’t have to, but it’s certainly a choice that they have. We have got to stop running elections for the convenience of government. And if you really look at a lot of these bills, they are for the convenience of government and not necessarily for the convenience of the voter.”

And once again, there’s talk of legislation to require voters to show photo ID. Coley says it’s about voter fraud – though the Secretary of State’s research has shown that out of 5.6 million votes cast last year, only 625 ballots showed irregularities, and only 13 were turned over to prosecutors. 

“I wouldn’t consider 13 crimes not a problem in the state of Ohio,” Coley said. “And by turning those over to law enforcement and by vigorously enforcing our laws, I think we will discourage anyone from trying to do that in the state of Ohio.”

Turner says the state’s own research shows that’s less than one percent of one percent, which is hardly a reason to potentially disenfranchise up to 20 percent of the population that doesn’t have photo ID. 

What about voter fraud?
The Brennan Center says you have a greater likelihood of being struck by lightning than you do, for somebody to commit in-person voter fraud,” Turner said. “The bottom line is that it is a red herring. It is meant to scare people about the process of elections integrity.”

Another voting-related issue relates to early voting on the last weekend before the election.

Last year, a lawsuit from the Obama campaign against the order to shut down by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted opened up early voting centers on that final weekend, and it’s likely that if there’s nothing in state law to address that, legal action could happen again next year.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Goodyear recruits thousands of vets
What a wonderful interview! Excellent reporting skills by a talented young reporter! I look forward to hearing more from Ms. Schley!

Ohio Democratic Party begins the rebuilding process
I agree 100% with Sen. Brown. I think it is absolutely critical for the Democratic Party in Ohio to engage in the long, tedious, hard task of re-building from t...

They're talking again in the Macedonia bridge dispute
Norfolk Southern says the Ledge road bridge meets regulations for train traffic, however it was built as an overpass for a roadway and/or farm usage. I think t...

Cleveland City Council to consider transgender public restroom law
this is sick. I do not want my daughter in the same bathroom as a perverted 45 year old man. this proposed legislation could seriously damage the security of ch...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University