Turner pushes election-related bills to promote turnout


By Marc Kovac

news@vindy.com

COLUMBUS

The Democratic candidate for secretary of state in this month’s general election offered testimony Tuesday on several election-related bills that she said would promote turnout and ensure eligible Ohioans’ ballots are counted.

“As legislators, we should be disappointed when a mere 40 percent of the Ohio electorate cast a ballot in this year’s general election,” said Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat who lost her bid to unseat incumbent Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted. “That makes 2014 the lowest turnout since the secretary of state started tracking voter participation in 1978.”

She added, “The provisions of SB 20 will make it easier to vote and prevent arbitrary disenfranchisement of eligible voters, all while improving the voting experience for eligible citizens of this great state.”

Among other changes, Turner’s SB 20, titled the “Voter Protection Act,” calls for online voter registration, a minimum number of days for early in-person voting with county discretion to add additional days and clarified standards and guidelines for absentee and provisional ballots.

SB 110 would allow Ohioans age 16 and 17 to pre-register to vote, a move Turner said would help ensure young people become regular voters throughout adulthood.

And SB 146 calls for increased training and other measures to improve and increase voter registrations through the state bureaus of motor vehicles.

The bills had their first hearing before the Senate’s State Government and Oversight Reform Committee. They are not supported by Republicans in the chamber and are not expected to move before the end of the year.

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