Tue, Jan 24, 2023 1:47 PM
By J.D. Davidson, The Center Square
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose took Ohio’s newly signed voter ID law on the road recently.
LaRose, who help push for several voting changes that eventually passed the last General Assembly and were signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, testified earlier this week before the Pennsylvania House Republican Policy Committee. LaRose said it wants to implement similar legislation.
It was the second time LaRose testified before Pennsylvania lawmakers. He spoke following the 2020 general election, advising lawmakers on election administration and security measures that he said worked well in Ohio.
“Continuing our efforts to focus on the concerns of voters, we have seen overwhelming approval for voter photo ID requirements. Pew Research Center shows 76% support it nationally. That number is 80% according to Monmouth University, and NPR shows 79% want photo ID requirements. From my understanding, Pennsylvania polling shows very similar levels of support for this improvement,” LaRose testified.
LaRose told lawmakers the new requirements do not prevent people from voting but ensures only eligible citizens can vote.
Ohio’s new law came under fire from Democrats and other groups, saying it established needless barriers and was rushed through committee with limited testimony.
As previously reported by The Center Square, Ohio’s stricter voter ID requirements define an ID as an unexpired Ohio driver’s license, state ID card, interim identification form, U.S. passport or passport card or a military ID that includes the person’s name and photograph. The only exception is if someone has a religious objection to being photographed.
The same ID requirement exists for early in-person voting or voting on the day of an election.
The new law also eliminates early in-person voting on the Monday before elections and allows the secretary of state to spread those six hours to other days during the preceding week.
It also stops August special elections, which LaRose called costly and unnecessary, unless those elections involve a political subdivision or school district that is in a state of emergency.
The deadline to apply to cast an absentee ballot by mail is also shortened from noon on the third day before Election Day to the close of business on the seventh day before Election Day.