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COLUMBUS — The Ohio Legislature approved a bill Wednesday that would do away with parts of a new law that allow Ohioans to register to vote and update their addresses online.
Those provisions are included in an elections overhaul law that Gov. John Kasich signed almost two weeks ago. The law requires voters to give their full Social Security number when casting a provisional ballot. It also requires them to provide their full nine-digit number when registering to vote, if they choose to use their Social Security number as a way to identify themselves.
The bill repeals the online provisions and the full Social Security requirements. They are key parts of the election overhaul measure and had been pushed by Secretary of State Jon Husted.
The legislation allows members of the military and Ohioans overseas apply for and receive absentee ballots by e-mail or online. It would also require voters to print their names on the envelope of their absentee ballots to have their vote counted.
The legislation goes to Kasich for his signature.
State Sen. Kris Jordan said the online provisions in the election overhaul were removed because members in the House and some in the Senate had concerns about them.
Jordan, R-Powell, didn’t cite any specific concerns. But in previous debate over the overhaul measure, some lawmakers had raised questions about whether voters’ Social Security numbers and information exchanged online would be protected.
Jordan told his colleagues on the Senate floor that because of the urgency to get the overhaul law passed and implemented before the Nov. 8 election, lawmakers didn’t have a chance to work out their problems with the online provisions and the Social Security number requirements.
“That being said, we’re going to go ahead and pull those measures out and possibly discuss those in the future,” Jordan said.
The move to get rid of the provisions comes as both Republican-led chambers of the state Legislature have been negotiating over whether to pass a requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls to cast a ballot.
The photo ID rules are a part of a separate bill that has cleared the House and is pending in the state Senate.
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