Oppose HB 294

HB 294 – Ohio Election Security and Modernization Act aka the Anti Voter Bill!

The Cincinnati NAACP is making a CALL 2 ACTION to citizens in Ohio to call or email members of the Government Oversight Committee regarding House Bill 294, the Anti-Voter Bill.

Ohio’s November 2020 election was epic and had record participation. It was the highest turnout election in the history of Ohio elections with 74% participation statewide and nearly 6 million Ohioans voting. Our Secretary of State proudly boasted that “Ohio ran one of the most successful elections in history.”  Yet Ohio legislators want to decrease voter participation.

These proposed changes below do not address any pressing issue and will create additional barriers and cause ballots to not count:

  1. Restricts access to mail ballot applications. Prohibits governments from sending absentee apps to any or all voters.
  2. Restricts paying postage. Prohibits government entities from paying return postage for absentee applications and ballots. Even for military voters.
  3. Cuts time for requesting and returning mail ballots. Cuts off 4 days from the time to request a mail ballot – from 3 days to 7 days before Election Day. Cuts off *3 days from the time to return absentee ballots – from 10 days to 7 days after the election. *(removing 3 days will cause hundreds of ballots not to be counted)
  4. Eliminates the last day of Early Voting (Monday – 6 hours)  The day before Election Day  is one of the highest turnout days of the early voting.
  5. Scare tactics around citizenship. Requires non-citizens to acquire DLs and state IDs that are marked NON CITIZEN. (Out of nearly 6 million votes cast in 2020 there were 13 illegally cast ballots
  6. Drop box restrictions and extra requirements on boards – Drop boxes can only be used for 28 days (after registration closes thru Election Day – limited to 3 boxes but all at the same Board property). Currently they’re available for other purposes as well, like dropping off registration forms and ballot applications and candidate documents. Requires 24-hour surveillance and requires boards to make the video available.

For those who want to read the actual changes (they will either be struck through to eliminate or underlined new language added).

The voter suppression tactics proposed in this bill are bad for all Ohioans and create unnecessary burdens to voting.

We need more voting access, not less.

There will be a hearing this week, if you can’t be there in person, please email your opposition to HB294 electronically to the Chair of the Govt. Oversight Committee, Rep. Shane Wilkin.

EXAMPLE:  Chairman Wilkin, Vice Chair Swearingen, Ranking Member Brown, and members of the House Government Oversight Committee, my name is  …………..  I want to thank you for the opportunity to provide witness testimony on HB 294. I stand in opposition to HB 294 as introduced. Because It creates unnecessary barriers to vote. These proposed changes do not address any pressing issue and will create additional barriers and cause many ballots to not count.

Anyone who wishes to submit testimony (written or in person) should submit testimony and complete the witness testimony form, and email it to GovernmentOversightCommittee@ohiohouse.gov

It would mean the world to us if you could take action on this important issue. Every name providing testimony builds momentum and makes it more likely for us to get the change we want to see. Will you join us by taking action?