Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rep. Adams: Husted’s Voter ID Counterproposal Misguided, Encourages Government Intrusion into Citizens’ Privacy

St. Rep. John Adams
COLUMBUS—Today, House Majority Whip John Adams (R-Sidney) expressed his disappointment that Secretary of State Jon Husted has failed to support House Bill 159, legislation to improve Ohio’s Election Day laws by requiring a photo ID for in-person voting. He also asserted that Husted’s counterproposal to require individuals to submit their full social security numbers in order to vote intrudes into Ohioans’ rights and privacy.
Adams released the following statement on the subject:

“Secretary Husted’s proposal to require a full social security number to vote provisionally or absentee is simply flawed and irresponsible public policy. These are private identification numbers that state government officials should not have their hands on. I also can’t help but notice the hypocrisy of Secretary Husted’s reluctance to require photo ID at the polls when his own proposal would require a voter to have a valid state identification card or license, which contains a photo, to register or change their address online.

“If he truly believes that the status quo is good enough, then why would he propose requiring a valid photo ID to participate in online voter registration and change of address? His own logic fails because his proposal only allows those with a valid government-issued ID to participate in this process.

“Today, we are attempting to clean up the mess that was created by a bill passed under Secretary Husted’s watch when he was speaker of the House, which allows no-fault registration and voting on the same day—otherwise known as “Golden Week.” As a result of his unfortunate decision, we are seeing confusing, inconsistent voting practices muddling the integrity of our democratic process. H.B. 159 addresses this problem by verifying the identity of the voter in a safe, nonintrusive way.

“The House Republicans are not introducing legislation to cater to editorial boards. We are introducing legislation to promote good government and protect the voice of the people of Ohio.”

Currently, when voting on Election Day, a voter may submit as proof of identification valid photo identification, a military identification, or a copy of a current utility bill, paycheck or other government document that shows the voter’s name and current address. House Bill 159 would require that all voters who vote on Election Day or in person absentee to present photo identification in the form of an Ohio
driver’s license, Ohio state ID card, a military identification, or a U.S. passport. Acceptable forms of identification remain unchanged for persons voting absentee by mail.

The bill also directs the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to pass rules giving IDs to persons who cannot afford them at no charge, and allows a person with religious objection to being photographed to vote provisionally and sign an affidavit of religious objection.

House Bill 159 has passed the House and is currently undergoing consideration in the Ohio Senate.