CLEVELAND—State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) introduced legislation today in the Ohio Senate to restore weekend early voting in Ohio for the 2012 general election. Senate Bill 366 would reverse a directive by Secretary of State Jon Husted that eliminated weekend voting in all 88 counties.
“Public officials at all levels have a moral obligation to make it easier to vote, but some of Ohio’s leaders have ignored this responsibility,” said Senator Turner. “This legislation will reverse the disturbing trend of voter suppression in our state and make it easier for all Ohioans to cast their ballot this fall.”
The legislation would establish weekday and weekend voting hours and require a minimum number of early voting hours for each county. SB 366 includes the following provisions:
· Weekday hours (for the entire early voting period): 8am-7pm
· Saturday hours: 8am-5pm
· Sunday hours: 1pm-5pm
· Restore extended hours for the last three days before the election
SB 366 would also explicitly state that these are minimum hours for early voting and can be expanded by a vote of the local board of elections.
“Uniformity may seem fair on paper, but ignoring the disparate effect caused by these one-size-fits-all solutions is dangerous,” noted Turner. “Ohio voters deserve a basic level of access to early voting, but if local boards of elections need to expand upon them to accommodate the needs of their voters, the state should not stand in their way.”