Dozens of changes in Ohio election laws have been proposed
in this session of the state legislature. The proposed changes have some people
up in arms.
Those in favor of the changes say the goal is to help
prevent voter fraud and protect the integrity of elections.
However, those against the changes say these new measures
will suppress the vote and infringe on people's rights.
Measures to reform voting laws are still making their way
through the state legislature. Meanwhile, a statewide a coalition of lawmakers,
clergy and civic leaders launched a campaign to get a constitutional amendment
that would guarantee certain voter protections which they're calling the Voter
Bill of Rights.
"No one's right to vote is safe as long as the Ohio Legislature
is in session," says Paul Demarco, a voting rights advocate. "So what we want
to do with the Voter Bill of Rights is to guarantee the right to vote, how
people can vote, what they're entitled to do in order to vote, what they have
to show when they go to the polls in order to vote."
However, Hamilton County Republican chairman Alex Triantafilous
says that's not the case.
"These are necessary changes in law that are designed to
clean up a process that's really broken right now," explains Triantafilous. "This
issue of golden week, as we call it Gordon, where you're allowed to register
and vote on the same day it's just very dangerous. We can't ascertain that
those people who are registering are properly registered to vote so eliminating
that golden week period is critical."
Supporters of the Voter Bill of Rights need more than 380 thousand
signatures to get on the November ballot.