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Reps. Brown Piccolantonio, Grim Provide Sponsor Testimony on Bill that Creates an Exemption for Requirement that Candidates Must Provide All Names for Past 5 Years

April 9, 2024
Beryl Piccolantonio News

COLUMBUS – State Reps. Beryl Brown Piccolantonio (D–Gahanna) and Michele Grim (D-Toledo) today gave sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 467, legislation which would add an exemption to disclosure if that change of name was granted by any court in the state of Ohio.

HB 467 will remedy an issue recently brought to light by a few candidates who followed all of the guidelines as written, but still were disqualified by a little known and unpublicized state law. This bill will bring uniformity, certainty, and address safety concerns for potential candidates and provide clarity for voters and election workers,” said Rep. Brown Piccolantonio.

“Allowing people to run for office under their chosen, legal names acknowledges the basic human right to self-identification and personal autonomy. It's a step towards more inclusive and representative governance,” said Rep. Grim.

“When I ran for office, there was no clear indication that I had to include my former name on my petitions (in fact, the law is so obscure that no one I have talked to had even heard of it before my disqualification, including the staff at the Stark County Board of Elections, and the Ohio Democratic Party!) Changing your name in Ohio requires a court order and typically a full background check. Since there is already an exemption for name changes due to marriage, this bill is purely common sense. A judicial court order should be more than enough to qualify a candidate for office,” said Vanessa Joy, disqualified candidate for Ohio’s 50th House District

This bill would also add space to the Declaration of Candidacy form so that candidates who are required to provide previous names used in the last five years for any reason will have space to do so. Additionally, it will require the office of the Secretary of State to include this requirement in the Ohio Requirement Candidate Guide.

HB 467 now awaits further hearings in the House Government Oversight Committee.