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Urban League of Southwest Ohio hosts meeting to discuss how HB 294 changes the election process

Ohio's legislature sends heartbeat bill to governor in surprise vote
Posted at 11:08 PM, Jun 02, 2021

CINCINNATI — The Urban League of Southwest Ohio held a town hall Wednesday night, during which attendees outlined their concerns about Ohio House Bill 294.

“It will reduce the time it takes to actually vote in advance, and it will reduce voting on Mondays,” Urban League of Southwest Ohio president Eddie Koen said.

Cincinnati-based State Representative Bill Seitz (R) is one of the sponsors of the 174-page bill. He said it would not reduce the total number of hours available for early voting – it would end voting on Monday before the election.

Extra time would be added for in-person voting the week before to make up for that, according to the bill.

“The reason to eliminate Monday is very, very, very simple,” Seitz said. “They have to produce poll books for election day, and the only names that may appear in those poll books are the names of people who had not previously voted.”

The bill would make it possible to request an absentee ballot online instead of only by mail, but that ballot must be requested 10 days before the election instead of three.

Seitz said the extended time is to allow the post office enough time to get the ballot out to voters.

WCPO media partner The Journal-News did a thorough breakdown of the bill and spoke to legislators on both sides of the aisle. That article can be found here.