COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives this afternoon approved legislation that would make it harder for citizens to vote. State Representative Matthew A. Szollosi (D-Toledo) voted against House Bill 194 and issued the following statement:
“This bill is a blatant attempt to reduce turnout in densely populated urban areas by severely restricting successful early vote initiatives. These changes will disenfranchise minorities, the elderly, and those on the lower end of the socio-economic scale.
Be mindful that early voting has accounted for 30% of the overall vote total in recent statewide elections. From a policy standpoint, it makes no sense to: reduce in person early voting from 35 days to 6 days; prohibit in person early voting during the busiest 3 days (Sat/Sun/Mon before the election); limit in person early voting on Sundays; cut mail in voting from 35 to 21 days; prohibit local boards of election from mailing absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters. However, from a political standpoint, it makes perfect sense – particularly considering the fact that this majority passed the most oppressive photo-id bill in the country a few weeks ago – SUPPRESS THE VOTE, especially the early vote, to gain a political advantage and consolidate political power. This bill is bare-knuckled, in your face, political hardball and has no place in Ohio law. ”
House Bill 194 now goes to the Ohio Senate for consideration.