Ohio ballot effort underway to streamline voter registration


COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohioans would be automatically registered to vote when conducting business at state Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices if voters approve a proposed ballot measure to change aspects of the state’s voter registration system.

The proposal announced Wednesday would also require early voting locations to be open on the two weekends prior to Election Day, and would allow eligible voters to register and vote on the same day.

Ohioans for Secure and Fair Elections said it has delivered initial paperwork to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, including summary language of the proposal and preliminary petition signatures, with a goal of placing the issue on the November ballot.

Under the proposal, military service members and overseas citizens would receive their ballots in a timely fashion and voters with disabilities would be guaranteed equal access to the ballot box.

The requirement that voters be registered during BMV trips unless they opt out is also part of pending House and Senate legislation.

Twenty-one states plus the District of Columbia have same-day voter registration, and more than a dozen have some manner of automated voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.