During the last Ohio General Assembly, Republican legislators rammed through a massive overhaul of Ohio’s elections, with little input from the public. In January 2023, Governor DeWine signed HB 458 into law, resulting in Ohio voters losing many important voting freedoms, including the freedom to register to vote and vote with an alternate form of ID such as a utility bill, government document, or paycheck. If you want to vote in person, you need to have a valid photo ID.
Rather than strengthening the ties between communities and legislators, these severe deteriorations to our election process will create chaos and confusion for voters and poll workers alike. Make no mistake, these regressive changes were designed with little to no evidence to support them and to directly hinder turnout.
This may seem like a small change to some, but voting is a cornerstone of our democracy and any attempt to silence our voice is a direct attack on our freedom to vote. More than 10% of U.S. citizens do not have government-issued photo identification, with minority voters disproportionately lacking this specific type of ID. We must guard against these artificial barriers being erected that undermine our progress to full participation in civic matters in our state. This is the most radical change in Ohio voting law in decades. The change in voting rules and requirements will impact more people than anticipated. The Ohio Unity Coalition is working with Vote Riders to help voters navigate the resources required to obtain a free state ID and to make sure they have a plan to vote in upcoming elections. If you have any questions, contact us at 888-614-0844.