State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) today introduced House Bill 337 to create “Ohio Voter Registration Day” on the fourth Tuesday of every September. The bill will make Ohio an active participant in the National Voter Registration Day, which is being celebrated today with registration events around the country.
“On this National Voter Registration Day, I worked to bring awareness to college campuses of the importance of voter registration,” said Rep. Clyde. “Young voters, college voters, and low income voters who are disproportionately women and minorities have the most trouble staying on the voting rolls. Aggressive purging by the Secretary of State targets Ohioans who may have moved and our outdated voter registration method discourages voter participation. Designating an Ohio Voter Registration Day will help keep voters alert to the current voter registration requirements so they are not left behind come Election Day.”
Rep. Clyde, who appeared at Kent State University today with the College Democrats to help register students and promote voting, issued a challenge to all of Ohio’s College Democrat groups to each register 50 voters as part of National Voter Registration Day.
“Over 1 million Ohioans are eligible to be registered voters but are not registered,” Clyde added. “We can and must do better. Until we have modern, convenient Automatic Voter Registration, Ohioans still need to check and make sure they are registered to vote the old-fashioned way so their voices can be heard. Today’s activities are bringing needed attention to voter registration and will help boost voter participation.”
There are approximately 7.5 million registered voters in Ohio, with about 8.8 million Ohio adults eligible to register. Online voter registration would help but Secretary Husted’s office will only allow for voter registration updates via the online system, rather than switching it on for all eligible Ohioans. Rep. Clyde previously introduced House Bill 181, the Registration Modernization Act, to implement Automatic Voter Registration and require that Online Voter Registration be offered to all eligible Ohioans.