Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Friday signed a bill into law that requires photo ID for in-person voters. The bill also ends the use of utility bills or government documents as proof of identity. DeWine declared the controversial matter of election integrity to be “settled” in Ohio and thanked the State Assembly for keeping absentee voting in the bill and increasing photo ID access for voters.
The bill’s original sponsor, Representative Thomas Hall, initiated the legislation to prevent special elections from occurring in August. The bill has since become a large election bill codifying all aspects of Ohio election law. Along with new photo ID requirements, HB 458 changes the final day for absentee voting to a week before Election day, instead of the prior three days.
Prior to the bill’s signing, the Ohio Democratic Party described HB 458 as a “dangerous anti-voter bill.” The Democrats expressed concern for working voters who rely on absentee voting and on alternative forms of identification for in-person voting.