The Ohio Senate
Senate Democratic Leader Joe Schiavoni
The Ohio House of Representatives
House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard
1 Capitol Square | Columbus, Ohio 43215 Phone: (614) 466-8285 E-mail: SD33@ohiosenate.gov
77 S. High St. | Columbus, Ohio 43215 Phone: (614) 466-8010 E-mail: Rep26@ohiohouse.gov
Thursday, February 20, 2014 The Honorable John R. Kasich Governor of Ohio 77 South High Street, 30
floor Columbus, Ohio 43215 Dear Governor Kasich, We urge you to veto Am. S. B. 238 and Sub. S. B. 205 which the House passed and the Senate concurred last night after a contentious and abbreviated debate about the impacts that these bills will have on Ohio voters.
state’s objective should be to increase and improve Ohioans’ access to the ballot box.
Instead, these proposed law changes will make it harder for Ohioans to vote by creating barriers and limiting opportunities to exercise their fundamental right.
S. B. 238 will cut Ohio’s only period of same day registration, a measure that is one of the
only proven ways to increase voter participation. Roughly 59,000 people used this week of voting in 2012. The bill also unnecessarily cuts a week from the beginning of mail absentee voting. There is no difference in the verification process between a voter who registers and votes on the 31
day before the election and a voter who registers on the 31
day and votes on the 29
day before an election.
Both ballots are not counted until the voter’s registration is verified.
Consequently, these proposed restrictions are without reason or necessity.
Further, the impact of Am. S. B
238’s cuts to early voting will fall disproportionately on
women, low-income voters, minority voters and elderly voters.
During the 2012 and 2008 elections in Cuyahoga County, African American voters were 20 times more likely than white voters to utilize in-person early voting and 75 percent of in person early voters were African American. House Democratic members had amendments prepared to soften this unfair impact. However, in a rarely-used and extraordinarily offensive procedural move, floor debate on this bill was abruptly ended and these amendments were never given the opportunity for an up or down vote.