State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) on Wednesday condemned the Ohio GOP’s partisan elections agenda, including Secretary of State Husted’s directive to limit in-person early voting hours and the passage of Senate Bill 216, which makes counting provisional ballots more difficult.
“In a government by the people, for the people, we should be working to expand opportunities for voting not implementing measures which would limit the number of days to vote or passing bills to make completing or counting ballots more difficult,” said Rep. Sheehy.
On Tuesday, Sec. Husted issued a directive to limit in-person early voting and eliminate evening and Sunday voting hours for all 88 counties in Ohio. Despite multiple federal court rulings in favor of retaining the last three days of early voting, the directive would cut early voting to the Saturday before Election Day.
S.B. 216, which passed on the House floor today along party lines, makes casting provisional ballots more difficult for voters. The bill increases the number of fields a voter must fill out in order for the ballot to count and reduces the number of days a voter has to return to the Board of Election to show identification. Voter advocates continue to assert that this will cause even more provisional ballots to be tossed out. 34,000 provisional ballots were thrown out during the 2012 general election alone.