LaRose Introduces Elections Reform Legislation
Bill would modernize Ohio's elections process, ensuring maximum accessibility and accuracy
August 08, 2013
[ Frank LaRose Home | Frank LaRose Press ]

Senator Frank LaRose (R–Copley) today introduced Senate Bill 175 that will create an online registration and absentee ballot request system and modernize the statewide voter registration database ensuring an efficient, accessible and accurate elections process.

“It’s time to bring Ohio’s voting procedures into the 21st century,” said LaRose. “Casting a ballot is arguably the most important single act of engagement in our representative form of democracy. This modernized system is more accessible and will reduce fraud, reduce costs to taxpayers and improve accuracy of voter records.”

If enacted, the legislation would authorize the Secretary of State to establish a secure, online process through which applicants could register to vote, update their current registration and request an absentee ballot; seventeen other states have already implemented statewide databases with online registration ability and electronic request forms for absentee voting.

The online system is more secure than paper registration and would serve as an optional alternative to the current registration process. The three states with the longest histories of electronic voter registration, Arizona (10 years), Washington (4 years), and Kansas (3 years), have reported no fraudulent activity or security threats through the online system.

“All of the available data tells us that we can save the taxpayers between 50 cents and one dollar per registration by implementing an online system, at the same time, increasing accuracy,” added LaRose. “This is not simply a matter of convenience; it is a financially responsible step that will make voter registration more efficient.”

The legislation would also permit the Secretary of State to utilize data from state agencies to maintain accurate voter records. By verifying voter registration information with other agencies, Ohio can ensure the accuracy of the voter rolls, thereby reducing fraudulent voter activity. Furthermore, the bill will establish safeguards to protect voters in cases where a registration was cancelled in error.

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