Ohio elections bill would streamline voter registration at BMV


Andrew J. Tobias - Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland (TNS)



COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohioans would be able to more easily update their voter registrations while at the BMV, if a new bill introduced by state lawmakers on Tuesday becomes law.

The bill, backed by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, would require license-bureau clerks to attempt to collect information that could then be used to update their voting address.

The information then would appear on an electronic screen the voter could approve, compared to the current system, which uses a paper form.

The bill is sponsored by state Sens. Nathan Manning, a North Ridgeville Republican, and Vernon Sykes, an Akron Democrat.

“People going to the BMV are stressed enough already, and if someone offers them another form to fill out, it’s not very likely they’ll do it,” Manning said. “But if it’s as simple as pushing a couple buttons and verifying you’re a U.S. citizen, I think a lot of people will take advantage of that.”

Officials in the Secretary of State’s Office hope the bill would help keep voter rolls up to date by giving people another chance to update their registration at a time when they interact with the state.

LaRose, a Republican, has referred to the idea as “automated” voter registration, rather than the automatic voter registration proposed by his Democratic opponent in last year’s election, which would have automatically signed Ohioans up to vote when they turn 18.

He’s said his goal is for Ohioans eventually to be able to update their registrations any time they interact with the state, like if they pay their taxes or get a state-issued license.

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Andrew J. Tobias

Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland (TNS)

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