DeWine signed HB458 into law triggering a major overhaul of state election laws that will require voters to present a photo ID at the polls. Under the new law, voters must present a photo ID when they cast their ballot in person, although the ID doesn’t need to have their current address on it. Qualifying IDs include an Ohio driver’s license, state ID, U.S. passport, passport card, military ID or interim identification issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Voters could previously use alternative forms of identification at the polls, such as utility bills or bank statements that had their new address on it.
As part of the new rules, any Ohioans 17 and older will be eligible to receive a free state ID card. Ohio licenses and ID cards must also note if the person is not a U.S. citizen.
The law also:
- Requires completed mail-in ballots to arrive within four days of Election Day, instead of 10.
- Requires voters who want to vote by mail to submit an application at least seven days before Election Day, instead of three.
- Permits only one ballot drop box per county that’s installed at the county board of elections office.
- Eliminates in-person voting the Monday before Election Day and reallocates those hours to another time.
- Gives provisional voters until four days after the election to provide missing information to election officials, instead of seven days.
- Give boards of elections until eight days after the election to determine whether provisional ballots can be counted.
- Eliminates most special elections in August unless the county, municipality or school district is under a fiscal emergency.
- Prohibits curbside voting, unless the voter has a disability and is unable to enter their polling place.
- Allows all 17-year-olds to serve as election officials, not just high school seniors.
DeWine said he now considers the matter of election integrity settled and doesn’t expect further changes while he’s governor. “Elections integrity is a significant concern to Americans on both sides of the aisle across the country,” he said. “At the same time, 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.”
A Democratic attorney who sued the Ohio Redistricting Commission over its legislative maps previously warned that the state will face a lawsuit if the law takes effect. Vice President Kamala Harris also criticized the legislation. “At a moment when so many fundamental freedoms are under attack, Ohioans should have every opportunity to make their voices heard at the ballot box,” Harris said.
Haley BeMiller is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau,
which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal
and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio
Reality check: Voter fraud in Ohio is extremely rare. Following the 2020 general election, LaRose’s office alleged at least 88 cases of non-citizens voting or citizens casting ballots in multiple states.
- Combined, that’s .001% of the nearly 6 million votes cast in that election.
Article: Ohio HB458 Amended Lawsuit Filed
Filed: January 27
Read amended lawsuit here.
Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. LaRose
Read lawsuit here.
An hour after DeWine signed the new law, election law attorney Marc Elias along with several groups – Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, American Federal of Teachers union, Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans and Union Veterans Council – filed a federal court lawsuit. Elias said, “You can’t say I didn’t warn them.”
The lawsuit filed by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans and Union Veterans Council against Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) and the state’s 88 county boards of elections challenging House Bill 458. The bill, signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Jan. 6, 2023, imposes three new restrictions on the voting process by: creating a new photo ID provision that requires one of four forms of photo ID (a driver’s license, state identification card, passport or military identification) in order to vote in person and eliminating a long list of previously accepted IDs; moving up the deadline for voters to cure (meaning fix minor technical mistakes) their provisional and rejected mail-in ballots from seven days to four days after Election Day and advancing both the deadline for voters to request mail-in ballots from three days to a week before Election Day and the deadline for voters to return their mail-in ballots from 10 days to four days after Election Day. The plaintiffs allege that H.B. 458 “will severely restrict Ohioans’ access to the polls—particularly those voters who are young, elderly, and Black, as well as those serving in the military and others living abroad” and “imposes needless and discriminatory burdens on Ohioans’ fundamental right to vote” in violation of the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit asks the court to permanently block the challenged provisions in H.B. 458 for being unconstitutional.
- Ohio’s New Voter Suppression Law Unpacked | democracydocket.com | Posted 1.18.2023
- Groups sue Ohio over new election law that requires photo ID, tightens mail-in voting | Dispatch.com | Posted 1.09.2023
- DeWine signs bills for voter photo ID and “green energy” natural gas drilling on state lands | Ohio Capital Journal | Posted 1.09.2023