LaRose appeared to back down over the past weekend, lending his support to a suggested bill (the “Ohio Voters First Act”) that would give legislative approval to his plan.
With the power now out of LaRose’s hands, the results might be also. Senate Bill 294 was introduced on Tuesday by Republican Matt Huffman of Lima and is co-sponsored by more than a dozen other Republicans. It tosses out LaRose’s directive, though some of its components are carried over.
Here are the highlights of SB 294:
- Absentee balloting would continue through Tuesday, April 28;
- LaRose would send a postcard to all registered voters notifying them of how they can obtain an absentee voting application and how to go through the voting process;
- Voters must have been eligible for the March 17 primary; no new registrations allowed for this election (LaRose had proposed the same).
This plan is relatively similar to the one proposed by the Ohio Democratic Party, which filed legal action shortly after the election was postponed last week. The Democrats similarly called for absentee balloting through April 28.
It is unclear if the proposed rule of barring new voter registrants for the primary election is allowed by law. Daniel Tokaji, an elections law professor with the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, recently told the Capital Journal he views such a proposal as violating federal law. The National Voter Registration Act sets a registration deadline of 30 days before a federal election.
House Democrats have proposed their own election bill this week, calling for moving Ohio to an all-mail voting system.