Currently voters casting an early ballot can simply fill out on their form a driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number. This new bill would require early voters to display a driver’s license or state identification card, or some other valid form of identification, such as a utility bill, bank statement or pay stub.
Butler County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jocelyn Bucaro said the party will oppose this bill as it’s currently drafted “because it makes the ID requirements for early voting stricter.”
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“Voters would have to show an ID to vote early and if they can’t, they’d have to vote a provisional ballot,” she said. “It hurts older voters and college students.”
There is talk around Columbus about offering an amendment to the bill that would allow voters who cannot show a valid identification to still complete an application and use the last four numbers of their Social Security number.
“If that amendment is added to this bill, it may be more acceptable,” Bucaro said.
Pelanda confirmed there has been an amendment drafted to continue permitting the Social Security number as a valid form. It is not yet a part of the bill, which has been assigned to the Ohio House’s Government Accountability and Oversight committee, which is chaired Ohio Rep. Louis Blessing, R-Colerain. Pelanda is a member of that committee.
Pelanda and Ohio Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Hudson, had previously told this news outlet while they have not declared their candidacy as Ohio's top election official, they are contemplating a bid. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who is considering a bid for governor, is term limited and his seat is up for election in 2018.
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