COLUMBUS— The ACLU of Ohio issued an urgent statement to Senate leaders, cautioning that without immediate passage of Senate Bill 191 the General Election will be chaos. Outspoken advocates against Ohio’s messy, confusing Primary, the ACLU has been working with a broad voting rights coalition to ensure that a safe and simple process be implemented for the November General Election. Senate Bill 191, introduced in September 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a common sense piece of legislation that will allow Ohio voters to request their absentee ballot online, while also maintaining in-person voting.
In addition, the ACLU of Ohio urges several amendments to strengthen SB 191:
- Provide prepaid postage and self-sealing return envelope for all absentee ballot requests and ballots;
- Accept all absentee ballots that are postmarked through Election Day;
- Refrain from discarding absentee ballots based on errors or technicalities;
- Permit more than one early vote center and secure drop box per county.
The following statement is attributed to Gary Daniels, Chief Lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio:
“The time for passage of Senate Bill 191 is now. We are almost halfway through June and legislative action must be taken immediately so that there is sufficient time for implementation. Senate Bill 191 will ensure that Ohioans won’t have to choose between protecting their health and casting a ballot. This is a commonsense measure with broad support from voters and organizations across the state. We cannot overstate the urgency that Senate President Obhof and members of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee act quickly and decisively to ensure Ohioans can safely exercise their fundamental right to vote this November. In fact, we need look no further than Georgia’s disastrous primary this week which should serve as a giant warning to all who value a free, fair, accessible democracy. Ohio lawmakers botched the Primary election, we cannot allow the same to happen for the General.”