State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) issued the following statement today after the first hearing on House Bill (HB) 41, a bill that targets Ohio’s in-person early voters with a more difficult ID requirement while leaving mail voters’ ID requirement unchanged.

“When a bill like this shows up on the committee schedule, it can look harmless. But if you scratch the surface, you see exactly who it goes after – minority voters, women voters, and Democratic voters who use in-person early voting more than other groups. While purportedly about reducing paperwork, HB 41 is really an attack on an easy voting method that many Ohioans juggling work and family like to use. I’ve served these voters and know there is no need to change the ID requirement on them.

“House Bill 41 could easily achieve a reduction in paperwork for voters and election officials without touching the identification provision. Instead the bill adds more confusion to an already very confusing part of our elections. If we really wanted to make voting streamlined for Ohio voters, we would let all Ohio voters use the same ID as our early voters – the last 4 digits of their Social Security number. That would save voters time and save counties money.”

Rep. Clyde currently serves as Ranking Member on the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee, which hears elections and voting rights bills and is currently considering HB 41. Rep. Clyde ran the Franklin County In-Person Early Voting Center in the 2008 presidential election.

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