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Ohio Republicans cut back on voting hours, absentee ballots
GOP members say Democrats are inflating arguments and playing politics

Jo Ingles
Ohio Republicans have passed two bills to limit early and absentee voting and are considering more.
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The Ohio House has followed the Senate’s lead and passed two bills that will change Ohio’s election laws. One prevents counties from sending out absentee ballots. The other reduces the number of days during which Ohioans can vote. Both passed over the objections of Democrats, who accuse majority Republicans of trying to discourage their voters. House Minority Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard

LISTEN: Heard on voter suppression
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“There is an effort to suppress a vote that generally turns out for Democrats. It’s a very political strategy. It’s done under the designation of voter fraud. And we have demonstrated less than 1.1 percent or something like 00003 percent of fraud in the state of Ohio so they are solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

But Republican House member Matt Huffman says Democrats are the ones who are politically motivated.

LISTEN: Huffman on Democrats playing politics

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“They are trying to win elections by keeping us from making reforms because it’s good for them. But we’ve got to understand why they are doing it. Allowing somebody four weeks before the election to vote, allowing them to mail in their ballot, making it clear how you register -- all of the things … are not voter suppression. It’s hard for me to get the phrase out without chuckling a little bit.

Republicans are considering other changes regarding early and provisional voting, and voter registration and IDs.

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