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Akron lawmakers applaud veto of provision to limit students' right to vote

April 1, 2015
Democratic Newsroom

State Reps. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) and Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today applauded the Governor’s veto of a student voter suppression provision in House Bill 53, the state transportation budget.

“The provision would have limited our constitutional right to vote,” said Rep. Johnson. “The majority was wrong to include it in the Senate- and conference-passed versions of the bill, so I am glad to see that it has been stripped out. This was the right – and constitutional - thing to do.”

The provision, added during Senate deliberations, would have required that anyone who registered to vote in Ohio surrender their driver’s license if it’s from another state, obtain an Ohio driver’s license and register their vehicle with the state. Failure to do so within 30 days would have resulted in a criminal offense.

"Having been an out of state college student I understand how difficult it is to maneuver voting and residency laws,” said Rep. Sykes. “I am very pleased that the Governor recognized this and vetoed language that would have made it harder for students to vote. Today the voices of students, voting rights groups and our caucus helped protect our most basic right in a democracy."

“If this politically-motivated stunt arises again in the General Assembly, I will continue to fight for the Constitution,” added Rep. Johnson. “There have been too many recent attacks on the keystone of our government, and, as someone who swore an oath to protect that document, I cannot stand idly by and watch the majority hack away at it. I will do everything in my power to ensure that these assaults are defeated again and again.”