Stand with State Senator Nina Turner Against the Ohio GOP's Attempts to Restrict Voting Rights for Students
Once again, Ohio Republicans have devised a plan that attempts to restrict access to the ballot box - this time targeting out of state college students. And once again, State Senator Nina Turner is standing up against this blatant attack on voters' rights.
On April 18, the Republican Majority in the Ohio House passed a budget that includes language effectively blackmailing Ohio colleges and universities into denying out of state students identification required to cast a ballot. If this bill becomes law, colleges and universities that provide a letter or utility bill to out of state students will have to charge those same students in-state tuition. Estimates put the loss of revenue at around $370 million a year for the already cash-strapped universities.
Through his spokesman, current Secretary of State Jon Husted falsely claimed, "It doesn't keep anyone from voting. There are multiple forms of identification voters can provide to cast a ballot." Secretary of Suppression Husted failed to mention that Student ID's are specifically prohibited as a form of identification, making the zero dollar utility bill or letter of residency from the college or university the most popular option among students without a driver's license.
And not only does this bill put universities squarely in the middle of a Republican voter suppression effort, it is unconstitutional! According to CampusVoteProject.org, "In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Symm v. United States that discrimination against college students seeking to vote in their college communities is a violation of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In Ohio, the definition of residency for voting purposes is intentionally distinct from the definition of residency for determining tuition. If the legislature passes this bill and the governor signs it into law, it is very likely to face a court challenge."
The Ohio GOP has literally devised a "solution" to a problem that does not exist, with the sole aim of restricting access to the ballot box. In a statement released to the media Senator Nina Turner called out the GOP's true intentions.
"To be clear, I support more affordable tuition at Ohio’s colleges and universities. But using this as an incentive to reduce ballot access is unconscionable.
I am extremely disappointed that the House-passed version of the budget includes language that will create more obstacles to the ballot box. This provision, added to House Bill 59 in the omnibus amendment, will penalize Ohio’s universities for their students exercising their right to vote."
Sign the petition to stand in solidarity with State Senator Nina Turner against Republicans' further attempts to suppress and demoralize the young voters of Ohio. It's time we take back that most fundamental of our rights: to have our voices heard and to hold those in charge accountable!