, our college intern at the Enquirer
's Columbus Bureau, registered to vote for the first time Thursday at the Franklin County Board of Elections. She filed this report:
On Nov. 7, Ohio voters will be required to show government-issued photo identification at the polls under a new law that took effect in May. If you don't have the ID, or other approved identification such as a bank statement, paycheck, utility bill or other government document, you'll be asked to cast a provisional ballot, which is counted later and subject to verification of your address. Voters providing the last four digits of their social security number or signing an affirmation swearing to their identify also will be able to cast a provisional ballot.
Despite all these new voting requirements, as I offered the elections worker my driver's license, the woman replied: “I don’t actually need to see that.”
On the voter registration form, however, it suggests that every person—registering via mail or in person—must attach a copy of their photo ID. Why make all the fuss over an ID if employees won’t glance over it?Peg Rosenfield
, elections specialist with the League of Women Voters of Ohio, said their response is not ususual. The board of elections compares registration information, including the driver's license or partial social security number, to other state databases such as the one kept by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. If I lied on the form, election falsification is a fifth-degree felony punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,500 fine.
When Jon Craig
of the Columbus Bureau registered his daughter to vote this week, he also found it incredibly easy. With the new ID requirement, he anticipated roadblocks to registering someone else. But the elections worker didn't ask to see a photocopy of his daughter's driver's license. "As long as you brought it, it's OK,'' the worker said. She was registered in less than a minute.Craig
will report on the new voting rules and concerns about them in Monday's Enquirer
. In the meantime, we'd like to hear about your voter registration experiences. You can e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org