Stinziano Introduces Online Voter Registration Bill

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohioans would be able to register to vote and update their voter registration information online under a bill introduced by state Rep. Michael Stinziano.

“We currently pay our bills online, manage our bank accounts online, and even file our tax returns online, yet we don’t let citizens register to vote online,” said Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat and the former Director of the Franklin County Board of Election.

House Bill 41 would require Ohio’s Secretary of State to create an online voter registration system that would allow qualified Ohio citizens to be able to register to vote or to change their voter registration information online.

“Giving Ohioans a more convenient way to register to vote and update their registration information will significantly reduce the number of citizens who by law currently cast provisional ballots, thereby reducing a significant burden on our election officials, saving taxpayer dollars, and improving the integrity of elections in Ohio,” Stinziano said. 

"This will boost convenience for voters and will help election boards by cutting back on data entry costs and errors," said Stinziano, "I encourage my colleagues to support this common-sense bill."

Under the proposal, Ohio would join 25 other states offering some form of online voter registration or that have passed enabling legislation that is soon to be implemented.

Stinziano’s proposal would provide for an online process of voter registration through the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. The proposal would also allow registered voters to update their addresses if they move. The process would include crosschecking supplied information with data from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, ensuring that the voter registration system is safe, secure and efficient.

The Secretary of State’s office has created an online change of address system; however, provision for it does not exist explicitly in state law.

Stinziano is the only member of the Ohio General Assembly who is an Elections Registration Administrator certified by the National Association of Election Officials.  He was named the 2011 Democratic Legislator of the Year by the bi-partisan Ohio Association of Election Officials

Stinziano introduced similar legislation in the last session of the Legislature that ended in December.

House Bill 41 will be assigned to a House Committee for further review.