Voting Rights

SB 296 would tie the hands of courts to protect voting rights

05.10.16

Updated 5/27/16: SB 296 has been passed in the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House. It is now on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. The ACLU of Ohio has written a letter to Gov. John Kasich, urging him to veto this bill.  Contact Gov. Kasich and tell him to veto this attack on voting rights.

Ohio lawmakers want to tie the hands of courts and prevent them from stepping in to protect your voting rights.

Imagine heading to the polls and when you get there all the machines are malfunctioning or there is no power at the center. You wait for an hour, but have to leave to go to work or pick up your children. It might be difficult for you to get back to the polls before 7:30 p.m.

SB 296 could tie the hands of courts to keep polls open later so that voters who were disenfranchised through no fault of their own can have time to cast their ballots. It would require that any voter who asks a court to extend polling hours to pay tens of thousands of dollars to cover the pay for every poll worker in the county.

Extending poll hours is a last resort for voters who have been disenfranchised because of malfunctioning equipment, inclement weather, or other technical problems. It’s critical that we keep this option open for courts to help those who were kept from casting their ballots through no fault of their own.

Read the ACLU of Ohio’s May 4, 2016 testimony in opposition to SB 296 before the Ohio Senate Civil Justice Committee

Read our May 24, 2016 testimony before the Ohio House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee