Congressional Democrats bash voting law as state lawmakers eye appeal

News

Congressional Democrats bash voting law as state lawmakers eye appeal

The Plain Dealer – Congressional Democrats on Monday blasted what they called GOP efforts to influence elections through a wave of restricting legislation, a move that came on the eve of an Ohio statehouse vote to repeal a controversial bill.

Critics of House Bill 194 remained hopeful they could strike a deal with Republican lawmakers to extend in-person, absentee voting in the last three days before an election, a key issue among advocacy groups who say the bill limits the number of voters heading to the ballot box and eases the crush at polling places.

But the second-ranking House Republican said Monday that negotiations were dead.

Ohio Rep. Lou Blessing, the speaker pro tem from Cincinnati, said the House plans to repeal the bill and not accept an amendment to extend in-person voting the weekend before an election. A vote on that is expected today.

“The plan now is to just go ahead with the repeal,” Blessing said.

Even if the bill is repealed, the only remaining provision would be a prohibition of voting on the final three days before an election.

Meanwhile, about 200 people a pair of courtrooms in the federal courthouse in Cleveland for a hearing of the U.S. Senate’s subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.

Read the whole article »