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Government & Politics
2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Ohio Bill Would Require a Cash Bond if You want to Extend Voting Hours and Restrict Who Could Vote

photo of voters

During the Ohio primary in March, a federal judge ordered some Hamilton County precincts to stay open late. In recent years, there have been several situations like that throughout the state. But a new bill at the Statehouse would make it harder to do that. 

Republican Sen. Bill Seitz’s bill would demand anyone trying to keep the polls open late to go to court and put up a cash bond. And if the precinct is ordered to stay open, only those who have filed the legal action would be able to vote.

“When the courts make these kinds of orders, they are inconveniencing hundreds of poll workers in a big county like mine. They’ve worked a 14-hour day already, only to be told at 7 o’clock, “Hey, you’ve got to stick around for another 90 minutes.” That’s outlandish.”

But Democrat Cecil Thomas, the only African American man in the Senate, says the bill essentially imposes a hefty poll tax on a disenfranchised voter.

“Why should I have to pay a bond to exercise my right to vote? Isn’t that what they had to do back during the Jim Crow laws?”

The bill has already passed the Senate and is heading to the House.