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House Republicans Announce Introduction of Major Election Reform Initiative

House Republicans Announce Introduction of Major Election Reform Initiative
Goals include increasing transparency, reducing costs of elections

COLUMBUS—Today, Representative Bob Mecklenborg (R-Cincinnati) and Speaker Pro Tempore Lou Blessing (R-Cincinnati) introduced comprehensive legislation that will initiate major reforms of Ohio’s elections process. The goal of the bill is to reduce costs of the running statewide elections and simplify the election elections process.

“Fair and accurate elections are a hallmark of the Democratic process,” said Mecklenborg. “The legislation I am sponsoring with Rep. Blessing is aimed at retaining these standards by improving the accessibility and accuracy of elections in the state of Ohio. We have also taken steps to help save tax dollars and make certain aspects of voter eligibility and Election Day procedures more convenient and accountable.”

“I’m very pleased by the bill that Rep. Mecklenborg and I have drafted and introduced today,” said Blessing. “Ensuring that our election laws are as comprehensive and methodical as possible is one of the most important tasks of the General Assembly. In addition to reducing any wasteful spending and providing stability to election laws, we also want to ensure that every Ohioan has a voice and that those voices are not diluted by any other factors.”

Among the components of the bill:
· Allowing the creation of a top-down voter registration database and sharing of information of other states to ensure the accuracy of voter registration rolls
· Allowing online change of address by registered voters
· Authorizing the certification and use of electronic pollbooks
· Simplifying the provisional voting process
· Ensuring uniformity for the issuance of absentee voting applications, absentee voting locations, and time periods
· Clarifying pollworker error

“Chairman Mecklenborg shares my goals of access and accuracy, and I commend Bob’s leadership on this vital issue,” Secretary of State Jon Husted said.

State Senator Mark Wagoner (R-Toledo) introduced companion legislation in the Ohio Senate. The legislation will now be assigned to a House committee, where it will undergo extensive debate and consideration.