Voting

Ohio Attorney General candidate David Pepper says he would make advocating for voter rights a priority if elected Ohio's top law officer this fall.

The Cincinnati Democrat released his proposals Monday for addressing ballot access and election fairness.

Pepper criticizes Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for defending laws passed by state lawmakers that courts later deemed unconstitutional.

DeWine told The Vindicator of Youngstown that he didn't pass or write the laws, but did what he's "supposed to do" by defending them in court.

Ohio’s chief elections officer is asking prosecutors around the state to investigate 17 people who voted in Ohio during the 2012 election. Secretary of State Jon Husted says those voters were not legal U-S citizens.

"There were 17 non-citizens who voted in the 2012 general elections and 274 non-citizens that are registered to vote but did not cast a ballot."

The Ohio House is slated to vote today on a bill to bolster the state's voter registration database.

The measure requires state agencies to share data with the secretary of state to help maintain Ohio's voter records. It also reduces the minimum number of electronic voting machines a county must have.

The Ohio Association of Election Officials supports the bill.

Today is the last day the House expects to be in session this year. Senators already have wrapped up work.

Two other election-related bills not scheduled for a vote have drawn more heated reaction.

Ohio's top elections official says he's worked with county boards to clear nearly all the duplicate voter registrations from the state's voter database.

Secretary of State Jon Husted said yesterday Ohio only has four duplicate registrations, down from more than 340,000 in January 2011.

Husted says accurate and up-to-date voter rolls make elections more secure and efficient.

He says more than 129 thousand voters have updated their addresses using the state's online change of address system.

Democratic state lawmakers are questioning a review by local county election boards into instances of voter suppression in Ohio during the 2012 presidential election.

Sen. Nina Turner and Rep. Kathleen Clyde said Wednesday that votes were suppressed when thousands of absentee and provisional ballots were rejected. They contend reports of long lines also discouraged voters.

The plan that would have changed rules for student voting at Ohio’s universities is dead for now.

The plan went like this: If a state funded university gave an out of state student utility credentials to vote as a resident of Ohio, that university would also have to give that student the in-state tuition rate.  It’s a move that could cost state universities more than 300 million dollars.  But Senate President Keith Faber says that proposal has been stripped from the Senate version of the budget.

It looks like a controversial bill affecting student voting might not have enough support to make it in the budget after all.

Democratic State Representative Debbie Phillips says courts have ruled college students who attend Ohio universities full time can vote as Ohioans if they want.  She’s taking issue with a part of the proposed budget that would mandate state universities to lose money if they give these students credentials needed to vote.

Monday is the deadline for Ohioans to register to vote for the May 7 primary election.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says voters who have moved since the last election need to update their voting address at MyOhioVote.com by Monday if they plan to vote.

Voter registration forms are available at that website or from local boards of elections and other agencies, such as libraries.

In-person absentee voting began April 2. Those wanting to vote by mail must complete, sign and seal their voted ballots and postmark them no later than the day before election day.

Early voting begins today for the May 7th special election that includes run-off votes for Dayton mayor and city commission, and levy proposals for area schools, police, fire and other services for more than 20 communities in the region.

Llyn McCoy, Deputy Director of the Greene County Board of Elections, says residents can still register to vote in the election if they have not done so.

The Ohio Secretary of State has made changes to the office’s website designed to make it easier for Ohio voters to update and check on their voting status. In an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted talks about the upgrades to the office’s internet site.

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