SB 5 On the Ballot; Now Let's Get HB 194 On the Ballot Too
Sometime during the last 5 days of me jetting all over the country, "Slick Jonny" Husted, in his capacity as Secretary of State, announced that We Are Ohio had enough verified signatures to put a referendum on SB 5 on this November's ballot.
Shortly thereafter, efforts began to collect signatures to place HB 194 on the ballot. This blatant voter suppression bill includes such gems as not allowing early voting on Sundays, because black churches would encourage their members to go down to the Board of Elections after Sunday services. It shortens the period for early voting and for absentee voting, making it harder to vote for the average Ohioan. Jennifer Brunner's Courage PAC blog lists 12 reasons this bill should be repealed:
RECAP ON REFERENDUM – Here’s what HB 194 would do if voters don’t stop it:
- Size of voting precincts: voting precincts in cities but not rural areas would be required by law to be made bigger in many cases, which could result in longer lines on Election Day in cities,
- Poll workers: poll workers would not be required to tell a voter they are in the wrong precinct and that their ballot is not counted if they are,
- Advantages for corporations: rules would be struck down and laws would be softened that regulate corporations’ activities in campaigns,
- Citizen petition drives: the time needed to get enough signatures for a statewide petition such as this one would be shortened,
- Technical reasons not to count votes: more technical reasons would be created to keep ballots from being counted, especially when voters make mistakes, like putting the current year in your birth date for an absentee ballot,
- Government invading your privacy and identity theft: the government would be using your full Social Security number on documents like provisional and absentee ballot envelopes, with privacy not guaranteed,
- Using your Social Security number to take you off the rolls: the state would be able to take your Social Security number and other private information about you and compare it with other government records to take you off the voting rolls, even if it finds new information and could correct your information for you,
- Only certain people can register to vote online: you would be allowed to register to vote online but only if you have a driver’s license or state ID card,
- Taking away time to correct your ballot: if you voted a provisional ballot, you would not get the 10 days you now have after the election to give additional information so your vote can be counted,
- Shortening early voting and no Sunday voting: you would only have 3 weeks (not 5) to vote absentee by mail before Election Day; if you vote absentee in person, you only have 2 weeks, and there would be no Sunday voting,
- Long lines not allowed to interfere with nearby business: even if there is a long line of voters, the law would now ban that line from interfering with a nearby business,
- Allows for more restrictive voter ID in the future: if more restrictive voter ID requirements become law, this bill says they will control, no matter what.
Now, I have heard even some progressives say that this referendum has no shot, that the Unions "got theirs" and won't bother to particpate in a referendum repealing this blatant voter suppresion law. I disagree, and will be contact Ohio unions over the next few days to get their thoughts.