SB 380 Passes House; Stewart Leads Opposition
Senate Bill 380, the Disenfranchise College Kids Because They Vote for D's Act, has passed the Ohio House 53-41 and moved back to the Senate for concurrence on House amendments. If the Senate re-passes it, it will move to the Governor's desk for signature or veto.
Gov. Strickland should have his veto pen ready.
Why are the GOPers in such a rush to pass this bill? Because they lost control of the Ohio House of Representatives to the Democrats on November 4th, so this is the last week that they will be able to railroad anything they want through the General Assembly. So, naturally, their highest priority is to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters.
State Rep. Dan Stewart (D-Columbus) whom I refer to affectionately as Stewy, led the opposition to this bill as I knew he would. Here is his office's press release:
Democrats in the Ohio House of Representatives today voted “no” on a proposed package of election reforms that experts have consistently criticized as rushed, incomplete, fundamentally flawed, and potentially hazardous to Ohio’s election process.
State Representative Dan Stewart (D-Columbus), who serves as Ranking Member on the House State Government and Elections Committee, said there is no need to rush, especially considering the wide successes of the November 2008 election.
“This year’s voting process changed Ohio from a national elections laughingstock to a national model for how to run a smooth election and defend the rights of voters to cast a ballot,” Rep. Stewart said. “Why try to hurry with a bunch of piecemeal ‘fixes’ when we can make responsible improvements in a deliberative, bipartisan way in time for the next major election? This is the wrong bill at the wrong time.”
Rep. Stewart referred to Secretary Brunner’s Elections Summit, held on December 2 to brainstorm with elections officials and experts about best practices to address:
- Voter ID and Provisional Ballots
- In-person Early Voting and Absentee Voting ·
- Technology and Security
Secretary Brunner plans another session in February to flesh out possible recommendations.
“The teamwork between Secretary Brunner and Boards of Elections across Ohio contributed to the successes we all shared in November,” Rep. Stewart said. “That brand of teamwork carries over now into a process that can protect every eligible voter’s rights without any knee-jerk reactions to partisan bickering.”
Rep. Stewart also pointed out portions of the election reform legislation (Senate Bill 380) may violate the Ohio Constitution, the U.S. Constitution, and other relevant federal laws including the Help America Vote Act.
Senate Bill 380 passed the Ohio House today. It now moves to the Senate for possible concurrence.