SIDNEY — The Shelby County Board of Elections discussed the changes made by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office to ID requirements for voters and to the early voting schedule that come with the passing of House Bill (HB) 458.
Southwest Ohio Regional Liaison Kenneth Henning also attended to meeting to help the Board of Elections in Shelby County get started with understanding the necessary changes and to provide the board with an implementation policy for these changes from the Butler County Board of Elections that the Shelby County board can look to when the county begins implementing these changes.
In Shelby County, there will be no May election which allows the board extra time to organize and implement the necessary changes.
The biggest changes in policy include changes in what forms of ID are accepted for registration, in-person voting, absentee voting and early voting along with changes to the early voting schedule.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, certain forms of ID previously accepted will no longer be valid. For registration, an Ohio driver’s license or ID with a current or former address will no longer be accepted. Neither will a military ID; U.S. passport or passport card; a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document with a current address. Two forms of ID will be accepted for voter registration; an Ohio driver’s license or ID number or the last four digits of a voter’s social security number (SSN).
Election day voting changes include now accepting a U.S. passport or passport card but no longer accepting a bill, statement, check or government document with a current address on it.
In-person absentee voting has changed to allow the use of a U.S. passport or passport card as ID. A bill, bank statement, check or government document with a current address; an Ohio driver’s license or ID number; and the last four digits of a voter’s SSN are all forms of ID that, under HB 458, will no longer be valid ID for in-person absentee voting.
Two changes were made to the accepted forms of ID for absentee voting by mail. First, a U.S. passport or passport card is now considered a valid form of identification under HB 458, but a bill, bank statement, check or government document with a current address is no longer valid under the new House Bill.
For provisional voting, accepted forms of identification include; an Ohio driver’s license or ID with a current address or former address, military ID and a U.S. passport or passport card.
The early voting schedule received the following changes due to HB 458. In-person absentee voting must begin the day after the close of voter registration before an election and end on the Sunday before the election. The Monday immediately before the election is no longer to be sued for in-person absentee voting. For the first three weeks of voting, board must be open for in-person absentee voting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. On the fourth week of voting, boards must be open for the following hours; 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
During the meeting, the board also received updates on the disposal of the old Votec E-poll books and the redistricting of the third ward in Sidney.
As of the Tuesday, March 21 meeting, the Votec E-poll books have been cleared of all voter information and are ready to be disposed of. The Shelby County Board of Elections signed the document to submit to the Secretary of State for approval to dispose of the 43 Votec E-poll books and directed the Director and Deputy Director to notify the Shelby County Commissioners.
The redistricting plan is on track to add an additional precinct to the third ward of Sidney due to population growth in the area. Deputy Director Andrew Higgins suggested that the board look into obtaining new maps for Sidney and the whole county as multiple cities and villages in the county have grown and new maps would properly display the precincts and wards of the whole county.
It was also determined during the meeting that Director Pamela Kerrigan, Higgins and board members Dan Cecil and Merrill Asher will visit a neighboring county during the May election to observe the election process and learn how the new changes under HB 458 are implemented in that county during the election process.