COLUMBUS – State Rep. Michael Stinziano
(D- Columbus), former Director of the Franklin County Board of
Elections, is urging bipartisan compromise after the House chose not to
act on a controversial election issue, Senate Bill 295, earlier this
week in order to give members time to discuss a potential deal.
SB 295, which passed the Ohio Senate last month along partisan lines, is an attempt to repeal HB 194 before it reaches the ballot this November. Included in SB 295 is a provision that would maintain the end of early voting at 6 p.m. the weekend before the election. This provision is one that existed in HB 194 and was a part of the circulated referendum petition signed by over 400,000 Ohioans.
According to reports, Fair Elections Ohio, the referendum petition committee responsible for collecting the signatures to put HB 194 on the ballot, is willing to negotiate an agreement where they would ask Secretary of State Husted to remove the issue from the November ballot if SB 295 is amended to reflect this component of the petition; restoring early voting until the close of business the day before the election. Prior to HB 194, early voting ended at the close of business the day before the election.
“Senate Bill 295 left the Senate along partisan lines and was viewed by many as an unclean attempt to repeal HB 194 before Ohio voters can decide on it this November. I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to put aside politics and work towards a bipartisan compromise that is in the best interest of every Ohioan. We have an opportunity to end voter confusion and restore voter confidence at the ballot box and in elected officials. I think it is time that we do away with the partisan politics that surrounded the passage of HB 194 so we can begin the process of working together to craft future bipartisan election reform after the November election.”
The House is set to consider SB 295 when the House reconvenes on May 8th.