January 6, 2023
COLUMBUS, Ohio — In response to Governor Mike DeWine’s signing of House Bill 458 into law, All Voting is Local Action Ohio State Director Kayla Griffin issued the following statement:
“Today, Governor Mike DeWine signed HB 458, turning Ohio elections on their head. Lawmakers have made whole-sale changes in how we conduct elections in our state, and the implementation of these changes will cause extreme confusion and make it harder to cast our ballots in the entire state of Ohio. Due to HB 458, we will witness – and many of us will experience – extreme barriers to the ballot and disenfranchisement.”
“It is going to take an all hands on deck approach to help voters understand what is happening. Therefore, All Voting is Local is calling on Secretary of State Frank LaRose and local Boards of Elections offices to lay out a comprehensive plan to educate the voters of Ohio about this disruption within our election process. Because of the collaboration ban, a nefarious provision that was inserted into budget legislation in 2021, election officials are prohibited from collaborating with nongovernmental organizations. Therefore it is now imperative that administration must now commit to ensuring people understand the new components of this restrictive and unnecessary law.”
The implementation of HB 458 will inextricably alter Ohio’s voting process by making it more difficult for citizens to vote, with the most likely outcome being a decrease in citizen engagement. HB 458 will erect unnecessary barriers to the ballot through strict voter identification, decreased and confusing early voting options, and a shortened cure window. Meanwhile, it lays the groundwork for discrimination against immigrants while writing a blank check for a new state ID program. HB458 was passed by both chambers at the end of the year and was sent to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk to be signed into law. Today, he signed the bill, making Ohio the state with the strictest voter ID laws in the nation.
Additionally, Revised Code § 3501.054, known as the collaboration ban, bars any public official responsible for administering or conducting an election from collaborating with any nongovernmental entity on activities related to voter registration, education, poll worker recruitment, or similar election-related activities. This has meant that election officials and nongovernmental entities are held back from working together.