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Editorial - The Columbus Dispatch: We Must Make Voting in Ohio Even Easier

After months of noise about potential catastrophe in Ohio’s 2020 general election, there is reason for relief and maybe even a modest celebration. Regardless of how one feels about the presidential outcome, Ohioans shattered records for registering and voting, with no evidence of meaningful fraud or suppression.

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For this success, credit can be spread wide — to the nearly 6 million voters who showed up and voting advocates who helped them; to the professional county board of election workers who adapted through change and stress; to thousands of one-day poll workers, many reporting for duty for the first time; and to Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who planned well and advocated for easier voting, often against opposition from fellow Republicans in the General Assembly.

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Having discovered the convenience of voting on their own schedule, Ohioans will want to continue it. Lawmakers should find time before this legislative term ends Dec. 31 to pass two measures for which LaRose has long pushed. 

Senate Bill 191 would allow voters to request an absentee ballot online, rather than snail-mailing a paper request form to the board of elections. Voters already can register online; there is no reason to disallow online ballot requests other than to make the process harder, and that’s indefensible.

Senate Bill 194 is important in the long term, especially as technology plays a larger role in elections. It would create a process for reviewing and certifying vendors of systems such as electronic pollbooks and ballot printers and mailers. 

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Future elections might bring unforeseen challenges as 2020 did. Needless impediments to voting shouldn’t be among them.

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Media Contact

Maggie Sheehan
[email protected]
614.466.2729