WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Dec. 15, just after midnight, the Ohio House of Representatives voted to approve House Bill 458, a bill that would impose a strict photo ID requirement on Ohio voters. With the Ohio Senate previously voting to approve the bill on Dec. 13, H.B. 458 now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine (R) for his signature or veto.
H.B. 458 would require virtually all Ohio voters to present a form of photo identification, such as an Ohio driver’s license, state ID card, interim identification form, U.S. passport or passport card or military ID card. In-person voters without a valid photo ID would have to vote with a provisional ballot and provide a photo ID after Election Day to have their vote counted. Voters who vote absentee by mail would have to provide a copy of their photo ID, their Ohio driver’s license or ID number or the last four digits of their social security number. Currently, Ohio voters are only required to present a non-photo ID, such as utility bills or bank statements, when voting.
In addition to the photo ID requirement, H.B. 458 also includes several restrictions on absentee voting. The bill would bring forward the deadline to request an absentee ballot from noon the third day before Election Day to the seventh day before Election Day, bring forward the deadline to return absentee ballots from the 10th day after Election Day to the fourth day, decrease the number of days voters have to cure ballots from 10 to four days and restrict each county to one ballot drop box or drop-off location. The bill would also eliminate in-person early voting on the day prior to Election Day.