COLUMBUS – State Rep. Michael Stinziano (D- Columbus) released the following statement in response to the Ohio Secretary of State’s new online change of address system.
“I applaud the Secretary of State’s renewed effort to allow some voters to update their registration information online. However, I think he should work with the legislature and go one step further and make it available to all Ohioans so that anyone can register to vote online, not just those who have already registered,” Stinziano said.
The Secretary of State announced a new and unprecedented system today that will allow already-registered voters with a driver’s license or state ID to update their address online. However, new registrations will not be accepted by the online system.
Under Ohio law, there is no separate paper form for a new registration and a registration update. If a person wants to change their name or address, the person completes the same form as a new registration form. It would appear that an online system that aims to mirror the paper system should also be able to contain then same security procedures as both new registrations and registration updates.
“As the former Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, I know this new and unprecedented process for Ohio voters will be a convenience to many voters and will save Boards of Elections money. While this new system will make it easier for some Ohioans, its implementation and application to local boards to update the registration information, is a serious departure from current rules and regulations. The impact of this change is just taking shape but this change may mean many voters without access to the internet or knowledge of this new system will still show up to vote needing to change their address on Election Day.
“I urge the Secretary of State to continue to seek out innovative solutions in which poll worker error can be easily caught and all properly registered voters' provisional ballots can be counted instead of thrown out.”