Voting in this country is both a right and a responsibility. It involves careful thought and informed debate. To keep the voting conversation on par with modern times and transparent to the public, the Ohio House of Representative just recently passed a piece of legislation that is both noncontroversial and commonsense as it relates to voting in our state.

This bill is a good and productive course of action for the legislature, and I’m glad to be part of the legislative body who voted “yes” on Senate Bill 10, which was signed into law by Governor Kasich in March. It contains many important measures to ensure that our voting system is fair and accurate.

A major portion of the bill allows for assistance to disabled and illiterate individuals when casting a ballot. We should be sure that anyone and everyone is able to perform their civil right to vote. As an American citizen, it is our privilege to do so. This piece of legislation allows for precinct officials, one from each political party, to help these individuals.

S.B. 10 also permits credentialed journalists reasonable access to a polling place while an election is taking place. I believe that this initiative is important. Giving credentialed reporters the ability to witness the operation of polling centers allows for the general public to be informed about what is taking place in their local voting centers.

Finally, the bill allows for a person to have ten minutes to vote compared to five minutes, and it also specifies that those waiting in line to cast their ballot when the polling place closes are still able to vote.

The bill goes into effect at the end of June.

Voting is a right that we have the ability to enjoy here in the U.S. I think S.B.10 makes the process stronger for the state and its citizens. Modernizing our voting process and constitutionally protecting it is integral to true democracy and helps to ensure that our elections process remains transparent. We should take advantage of every opportunity to improve our voting system, by making it more open and accurate for constituents.

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