Voting

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.

A three day statewide conference of boards of elections members and workers concludes today in Columbus, just as state lawmakers prepare to come back to the capital for their first full week of work in this new General Assembly.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has his own list of priorities for lawmakers, such as online voter registration, online requests for absentee ballots, uniform hours of operation for board of elections offices and new rules for provisional ballots.

“For reasonable people, there is nothing controversial here,” says Husted.

Elections officials in Miami county say a ballot vendor is to blame for a pair of absentee ballot problems that affect more than 240 voters.

The Miami County Board of Elections says more than 200 voters in the area north of Dayton were accidentally sent two absentee ballots each instead of one. The Dayton Daily News reports board staff were calling those voters to apologize for the error and advise them to vote only one ballot and return the other.

Voter rights groups in Ohio are raising questions about an order from the state's elections chief that bans local election boards from calling or emailing people about errors on their absentee ballots.

The directive from Secretary of State Jon Husted requires boards to notify voters by mail if their ballots are invalid. Voters would then need to appear at their board during office hours to address any problems. He's also told boards to provide accommodations for the disabled.

A federal judge in Ohio is giving all voters in the swing state the option of casting their ballot in person during the three days before Election Day.

Judge Peter Economus on Friday issued a preliminary injunction granting the request from President Barack Obama's campaign that targets a state law that cuts off early voting for most residents on the Friday evening before a Tuesday election.

The law exempts military personnel and Ohioans living overseas.

A state hearing officer is recommending two Democrats be removed from the Montgomery County Board of Elections after they had moved to create extra voting hours on the weekends.

Secretary of State Jon Husted initially suspended Thomas Ritchie Sr. and Dennis Lieberman from their positions on the Board of Elections, then temporarily lifted his suspension last week so the board could continue its work.

Husted, a Republican, has ordered election boards in Ohio's 88 counties to have the same early in-person voting hours on weekdays and have no hours on weekends.

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