COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 458 on Friday, modifying the law governing voter identification and absentee voting in Ohio.
The law mandates photo ID at the polls, limits ballot drop boxes to one per county and shortens request and return times for absentee ballots.
“Elections integrity is a significant concern to Americans on both sides of the aisle across the country. At the same time, I have long believed that Ohio does a good of administering elections, as we have provided ample opportunities to cast votes while avoiding the problems we have seen in recent federal elections in other states,” DeWine said. “I appreciate the General Assembly working with my Administration on changes to House Bill 458 to ensure that more restrictive proposals were not included in the final bill. Legislators included our suggestions to expand access to valid photo IDs and to maintain Ohioans’ ability to cast absentee ballots without the more restrictive identification requirements that were debated.”
The bill also sets some limits for the Secretary of State in the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballots.
The bill addresses identification to include these permissible forms: (a) an Ohio driver’s license, state identification card or interim identification form issued by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles or a deputy registrar; (b) a United States passport or passport card; (c) a United States military identification card, Ohio National Guard identification card or United States Department of Veterans Affairs identification card.
It can also be a copy of an individual’s photo identification with images of both the front and back.
If the document is a United States passport, a copy of the photo identification means an image of the passport’s identification page that includes the individual’s name, photograph and other identifying information and the passport’s expiration date.
Utility bills and alternate forms of ID cannot be used.
The bill also addresses special elections. You can read the full version online.
The Ohio Democratic Party was quick to respond to the signing of the bill.
“Ohio Republicans know that their out-of-touch agenda and anti-worker policies are betraying Ohio voters, and they don’t want to be held accountable. So they’re further rigging the rules in their favor and pushing one of the worst anti-voter bills in the entire country all so that they can keep lining the pockets of their corporate donors and leave working families in Ohio out to dry. Shame on all of them,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters.