Leage of Women Voters Letter about HB 194 and SB 295

Scheduled for March 27, 2012 7:19PM


                                                                                                        League of Women Voters of Ohio   

March 27, 2012   


The facts about the HB     194 repeal bill




This week the Ohio Senate is     planning to vote on Senate Bill 295 (SB 295), a bill that seeks to repeal     HB 194, the controversial election bill passed last year that is subject to     referendum.    

Here are the facts on SB 295,     the HB 194 repeal. 


    1. SB 295 will          NOT undo all the changes made by the legislature last year. Most          importantly, SB 295 will not restore early voting for the Saturday,          Sunday, and Monday before Election Day. Why?          Because eliminating the last three days of early voting was also          included in another bill last year, HB 224, which the legislature used          to “fix” sections of the law they missed in their rush to          pass HB 194. To completely restore election law to the way it was          before HB 194, SB 295 should be amended to restore early voting the          three days before Election Day.


    1. If SB 295          passes, what happens to the referendum on HB 194? No one knows. HB 194          never went into effect, because the referendum petitions blocked the          law until Ohioans vote on the referendum this fall. Legislators have          publicly acknowledged in the press that it is unclear whether or not          it is constitutional to repeal a law that is subject to referendum. If          the legislature does pass the repeal bill, it will likely end up in          court for a judge – rather than the voters – to decide what happens to          the referendum. 


  1. The rush to          repeal HB 194 is unnecessary, because the referendum stopped HB 194          from taking effect until after the November 2012 election. So why the          rush?          Passing SB 295 will not change what rules are in effect for this          year’s election, because HB 194 has never gone into effect. Supporters          of SB 295 claim that removing HB 194 from this fall’s ballot will          avoid voter confusion and save money. However, the uncertainty of          voting on a repeal that may or may not be constitutional and is likely          to end up in costly litigation simply adds to the confusion over what          laws will or will not go into effect and when.      

What can you do? Call     your state Senator, write a letter to the editor of your local paper, or     share this information with a friend. Tell them the facts – that SB 295     does not undo all of last year’s bad election law changes, and rushing to     pass another flawed bill does not help voters.   

For more information, read     LWVO’s testimony on SB 295: http://www.lwvohio.org/assets/attachments/file/SB295%20Testimony%20-%20Carrie%20Davis%203_21_12.pdf


We want to     know how responsive members are to action alerts and how many calls are     made to the Ohio House and Ohio Senate.  If you take the action     suggested, please let the state office know.  Drop us an e-mail at leg@lwvohio.org.     

The League     of Women Voters of Ohio, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages     informed and active participation in government, works to increase     understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy     through education and advocacy.



Carrie L. Davis   

Executive Director   



League of Women Voters of Ohio