In 2021, the Legislature made some anti-voter changes to election law, including prohibiting election officials from collaborating with non-governmental entities on matters relating to election administration and prohibiting election officials from settling election-related lawsuits in any way that would change existing Ohio laws. Late in 2022, the state enacted a major piece of anti-voter legislation that created one of the strictest voter ID laws in the nation. Due to this substantial change, Ohio received an F on this year’s progress report.
Where Ohio Started in 2020
- Automatic Voter Registration: No
- Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
- Same-Day Registration: No
- Restoration of Rights: Prison Disenfranchisement
- Vote by Mail: No-Excuse
- Electronic Registration Information Center Member: Yes
- Early Voting Opportunities: In-Person Absentee
- ID Requirements: Strict Non-Photo ID
Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Ohio as of 2020, we considered the state a bottom tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2021-22 activity against other bottom tier states.
How Our Tier Compares:
2021: Two Years Ago
While the Ohio legislature did not pass any wholly election-related bills during the 2021 session — which we view as a positive — it did manage to include a few anti-voter provisions in a general appropriations bills it passed.
- H 110 prohibits election officials from collaborating with non-governmental entities, including faith-based organizations, on matters relating to election administration and prohibits election officials from settling election-related lawsuits in any way that would change existing Ohio laws.
2022: This Past Year
- For most of the 2022 session, the redistricting process dominated discussions over potential election changes and it seemed that no significant election-law related would be passed. However, during the lame duck session, the Legislature enacted a strict voter ID law.
- H 458 requires voters to show a state-issued photo ID, US passport, or US military ID to vote in person. Other reliable identifying documents such as utility bills and bank statements could no longer be used to establish a voter’s identity at the polls. It also removes the option to vote early in person the day before the election, shortens the timeframe for voters to request and return absentee ballots, and restricts dropboxes to one per county.