Voting Rights Press Release

03.26.15

ACLU Urges Governor Kasich to Veto Provision Restricting Student Voting Rights

(COLUMBUS)—The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio sent a letter today requesting that Governor John Kasich veto a provision of House Bill 53 that requires individuals who have an out-of-state driver’s license or vehicle registration, and registered to vote in Ohio, must obtain an Ohio driver’s license and vehicle registration.

The provision would greatly impact tens of thousands of out-of-state students who register to vote in Ohio, according to Senior Policy Director Mike Brickner. The policy would have the effect of attaching a fee to registering to vote, imposing a quasi-poll tax on these student voters.

Brickner said, “The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy and there should never be a cost associated with casting your ballot. Students have an absolute right to register to vote where they attend school, but this law presents a barrier to those voters where there does not need to be one. With a presidential election looming in 2016, our elected officials should be doing everything possible to ensure everyone can register to vote and get to the polls. This provision of House Bill 53 does the very opposite and Governor Kasich should veto it.”

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