Nearly a year ago, legislative leaders passed HB 194 and then repealed parts of this voter suppression law, hoping to keep angry Ohio voters away from the polls during the presidential election of 2012. What these partisan legislators failed to do however was to fully repeal this law and restore Ohio's voting laws to pre HB 194 statute. According to ProgressOhio's Executive Director Brian Rothenberg, "It's a very sad day in our state when legislators find a way to circumvent and disregard Ohio's constitution. This takes us down a very slippery slope, whereas the citizens of Ohio stand to have no voice whenever they'd like to challenge bad policies enacted by self-serving politicians."
There's a small victory considering that the 500,000 petitioners forced lawmakers to revisit and reverse much of HB 194. But as Rothenberg admits, "We're concerned legislators didn't go far enough and restore final weekend voting, which was in place during the last presidential election. The 2008 elections were voter friendly and we didn't see the infamous ten hour voting lines we witnessed in 2000 and 2004. So why after one successful election cycle must we revert back to antiquated voting measures which have a high probability of disenfranchising voters?"
ProgressOhio will continue to ask legislative leaders and Secretary Husted to work together and create a solution so that all voters have a right to cast a ballot, and so that Ohio is no longer viewed as the model of inefficiency when it comes to voting.