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.

Knight Foundation

Metro RTA

Don Drumm Studios


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
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

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Death and beauty at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art
What a disgusting story to air at lunch time.

Ohio Supreme Court grills attorneys on flooding and million-dollar fixes
Perhaps the State of Ohio should take the lead and implement state wide water shed districts that would collect minimum fees. The funds could then be distribute...

More Ohio schools are adding STEM + arts to come up with STEAM
STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Not Education! Your first sentence and intro to this article is incorrect. Please correct this inaccuracy....

Body found in Brecksville park identified as Hillary Sharma
When will we learn the cause of death? We live here and if there's foul play, we have a right to know.

FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
SB5 stands for "Snow Ball 5" because voters have about a snow ball's chance of remembering what it was.

Columbus groups are trying to pass a Bill of Rights to combat fracking
Its about time we make a stand against the criminal actions of an entire Indsutry.

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