State Rep. Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) has cosponsored House Bill 294, which is known as the Election Modernization and Security Act. The legislation will modernize and codify election laws as they currently stand in the State of Ohio.
“This bill helps codify a lot of what our state has been doing, but simultaneously moves to provide for more safe and secure elections,” said Cutrona. “Let’s keep Ohio’s positive track record going by moving to innovate and improve on what has worked.”
Some of the bill features include:
- Allows for Ohio voters to request an absentee ballot online – through a secure two-factor authentication – similar to the current online voter registration system.
- Codifies automated (not automatic) voter registration through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). The BMV will also be able to update voter registration addresses when individuals update their addresses at the BMV.
- Allow for a prioritized list of voter identification methods – expanding the list to allow electronic versions of their bank statements or utility bills instead of hard copies.
- Requires extensive testing of voting machines prior to the use in any and all elections.
- Eliminates “in-person” voting the Monday before the election based on the request from many local Boards of Elections. “Monday hours” will be added to other early voting days.
- Prevents the mailing of absentee ballots less than 10 days before the election to ensure the USPS has enough time to deliver the ballot to the requester before Election Day.
- Expands the definition of voter activity to ensure fewer active voters are removed from the voter rolls.
Cutrona also voted recently to support H.C.R. 5, which passed in the Ohio House. The resolution opposes H.R. 1 in Congress, a resolution known to implement a federal takeover of state-run elections. More specifically, H.R. 1 pushes to legalize ballot harvesting, force states to count ballots that arrive by mail as late as 10 days after the election, and ban state voter ID requirements.
For additional details, please see the attached charts showing how the proposed legislation compares with current law and a comparison of Ohio to other states.
House Bill 294 has nearly 30 cosponsors and awaits its first committee hearing.