A religious lobbying group has floated several proposed changes to Ohio's voting rules, including photo IDs and ending early voting the weekend before the election. The group says these proposals are based on citizen feedback.
The Ohio Christian Alliance is proposing requiring photo identification at polling places and ending early voting the weekend before the election, in addition to a number of other changes to the state's voting rules.
Christian Alliance Director Chris Long blames the U.S. Supreme Court allowing voting the weekend before the election in 2012 for some confusion poll workers faced on Election Day.
“The court got it wrong," Long said. "The federal judge that said that Ohio needed to hold open the polls on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the Tuesday election was a bad idea."
The group is also calling for more training for poll workers and replacing faulty machines.
But Democratic State Rep. Kathleen Clyde says she’ll fight any attempts to pass a bill that takes away that last weekend of voting before the election. She says a lot of Ohioans vote on those three days.
“We need to continue to maintain access to early voting," Clyde said. "And I think as more and more people are taking advantage of it, it’s a very bad idea to cut back on those critical days."
Clyde also opposes the idea of requiring a photo id. She says it would disenfranchise a lot of voters, especially older, younger and women. Democrats say they plan to propose a voter bill of rights soon that would guarantee access to the polls and put it on the ballot as a constitutional amendment.
Story by Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles.