“Republican lawmakers working on sweeping changes to Ohio election administration”

Ohio Capital Journal:

Legislation in the Ohio House and Senate would make sweeping changes to the way Ohioans vote and how those votes are counted. Despite sterling post-election audits in Ohio and the arrival last year of strict new photo voter ID requirements, backers insist more must be done to secure the state’s elections.

Among their demands are provisions allowing hand-counted ballots, and new voting machine requirements that could force counties across the state to replace the voting machines they have. Moreover, certified voting machines don’t exist that would meet the bill’s standards, and hand-counting has been shown to be more timely and less accurate than the currently certified voting machines that do exist. The bill would also extend photo ID requirements to absentee voting — making voters include a photocopy of their ID with their completed ballot.

And the drafters have plans for in-person voting as well. The bill directs county boards to include a voters’ photograph in the pollbook, so poll workers won’t simply compare a photo ID to person standing in front of them, but also to a photo on file from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The League of Women Voters of Ohio policy affairs manager Nazek Hapasha argued the measure is rooted in conspiracy theories about non-citizens voting in Ohio’s elections. Ohio’s secretary of state has referred more than 500 of cases of alleged non-citizen voter fraud since taking office. Only one of those cases led to charges.

“All of this together,” she said, “opens up the door to election deniers to cast doubt over our election systems, and the reliability and integrity of our election system.”

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