Ohio Voter Rights Coalition Blog; The Ohio Voter Rights Coalition: Voter Advocates Rally to Protect Judicial Safeguards

Voter Advocates Rally to Protect Judicial Safeguards

State Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) recently introduced Senate Bill 296, which that will unfairly punish voters for Election Day problems they did not cause. Court ordered extended voting hours are a necessary safe-guard to ensure that voters have a uniform number of hours to vote.  By law, polls must be open on Election Day from 6:30 am-7:30 pm, thereby providing 13 hours to vote.  On several occasions polls have been court-ordered to stay open late for unquestionably legitimate reasons (e.g., running out of ballots, polls didn’t open (on time), machine failures, or power outage).  In such instances a court order may be the only way to ensure uniform voting opportunities for all.  

Every vote matters.  Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted identified 75 elections in 2014 and 2015 that were tied or decided by as a little as one vote.  When voters have taken personal responsibility to show up to vote, our elections system should not fail them.  SB 296 is scheduled for a possible vote this Wednesday.  It’s time for lawmakers to stand up for voters and vote SB 296 down.

View our joint press release with the League of Women Voters of Ohio, Common Cause Ohio, and the Coalition for Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. Testimony in opposition to the bill was presented on May 4, 2016 by the ACLU, the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, and Common Cause Ohio.

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