Ohio GOP Gov. Mike DeWine has signed legislation that will enhance his state’s election integrity through the strengthening of voter ID requirements.
This bill specifies what may be accepted as a form of voter identification to reduce voter fraud throughout the state. This new law states that, in order to cast an in-person ballot, Ohioans must present an unexpired “Ohio driver’s license, state identification card, or interim identification form issued by the registrar of motor vehicles or a deputy registrar,” a U.S. passport or passport card, or a U.S. military ID card.
The bill also lays out new requirements that county boards of elections must adhere to for elections. One such requirement is that county boards must “prepare an election administration plan,” that must be given to the secretary of state at least 75 days before a presidential primary, and 120 days ahead of a general election “held in an even-numbered year.”
In the past, if a voter did not have a valid form of identification, they were permitted to show a bank statement, paystub, or another document to prove their identity. Now, these alternatives will not be accepted.
In order to minimize technology failures on election day, county boards must also “conduct systematic logic and accuracy testing of every component of every voting machine, marking device, or piece of automatic tabulating equipment with every ballot style to be used.” These checks should ensure that “the ballots are accurate and that the machines, devices, and equipment will accurately record, mark, or count the votes cast.”
In a statement about the new piece of legislation, DeWine said, “I have long believed that Ohio does a good job of administering elections, as we have provided ample opportunities to cast votes while avoiding the problems we have seen in recent federal elections in other states.”
“I believe with the enactment of the new election integrity provisions in House Bill 458, this matter should be settled, and I do not expect to see any further statutory charges to Ohio voting procedures while I am Governor,” added DeWine.
Democrats, of course, are claiming that this new bill sets up “unnecessary barriers to voting,” and they maintain that this bill is harmful, “alarming,” and discriminatory.
The Left is also trying to claim that these voting restrictions are discriminatory against people of color, the elderly population, students, and more.
Camille Wimbish, the election administration director at Ohio Voice, a civic and advocacy group, has stated that the voter ID bill will somehow be discriminatory against literally “everyone.”
“Black and brown communities have higher numbers of those communities who don’t have ID,” complained Wimbish. “This is gonna impact Black and brown voters, students, rural voters, military voters, seniors. I mean there’s really everyone who’s gonna be impacted by these substantial changes.”
However, it is unclear what factors really prevent valid citizens from obtaining a photo ID since state officials have vowed to provide free identification to anyone who needs it.