COLUMBUS, Ohio –Former Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, Rep. Michael Stinziano, criticized House passage of the Senate bill to repeal HB 194 as a political tactic to subvert the will of Ohio voters. The passage of SB 295 is a legislative attempt to end early voting the final days before Election Day.
“I am disappointed with the Majority’s decision to reject bi-partisan compromise and instead move ahead with Senate Bill 295 in an attempt to repeal HB 194 before voters can decide on it this November,” Rep. Stinziano said.
However, the legislation is not a "clean" repeal and includes provisions that would end early voting prior to the final days before the election.
“As someone who signed the referendum petition to address, among other things, the taking away of local control to set voting hours, I am disheartened by this partisan maneuver,” Rep. Stinziano added. “Today I offered a common sense amendment to restore early voting to the close of business the day before Election Day, restoring Ohio’s voting laws to what they were prior to HB 194 and HB 224. It was rejected along partisan lines. If the goal today was to truly reset and return election law to what it was during the 2010 elections, then corrective changes are needed to address all legislative changes to remove the final few days of voting. This is exactly what my amendment would have accomplished.”
HB 224 was signed into law in July of last year, but the Senate included technical amendments before its passage to bring HB 224 in line with HB 194, the newly passed election statutes. The technical changes included in HB 224 have been interpreted by Secretary of State Jon Husted as an end to early voting the Friday before Election Day. However, HB 224 was not meant to address any issues of election law except for improving accessibility for military voters. The provisions of HB 224 were purposely separated from the other contentious elections bills, HB 194 and HB 159, in the belief that the voting rights of our military members should not be subject to partisan politics.
“I am very disappointed in the Majority’s decision to play politics with Ohio’s voting laws. Ohio is again on the verge of receiving adverse national attention during another critical election. It would appear that the Majority has done nothing but confuse voters and leave our election law in the hands of a judge,” Rep. Stinziano said.