OHIO’S Outdated system is cumbersome and depresses voter turnout

As of 2018 an estimated 1 million people in Ohio were eligible to vote but were unregistered.

Our current voting processes are outdated, inefficient and overly-complicated. The result is not only inaccurate voting rolls which can lead to chaos (think: longer lines!) on election day, but also creates barriers that depress voter registration among important sectors of our state. Those particularly affected include rural residents, younger people aged 18-29, and low- to moderate- income individuals. That’s a lot of Ohioans!

Some examples of how our voting system creates more work and less voters:

  • Government records are not linked automatically and accurately, which would immensely improve the efficiency of voter registration. Completing a registration at a governmental agency, such as applying for or renewing a driver’s license at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), is not sufficient to help people become registered voters. Instead, potential voters are required to separately request, fill out, and submit a form in order to register to vote.

  • On election day, registered voters who haven’t updated their registration are permitted to cast a provisional ballot and then update the registration afterwards. This ballot option is unavailable to those not previously registered.

  • If you are an active-duty military member serving overseas, you must fill-out a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to register and request a paper ballot, and then fill-out and mail that ballot in to your local election office. As a result, not only is awareness of this system among active-duty military and their families particularly low, it also leads to lower voter turnout among some of our most important citizens!

We can fix this

Clearly, we need to modernize Ohio’s registration processes—making voting more secure while ensuring that those who are legally eligible to vote can vote. We are beginning by focusing on these key areas: