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Ohio Secretary Of State Defends Approach To Online Voter Registration

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The state’s elections chief says he needs lawmakers to approve an online voter registration process, but a Democrat who might run for his position says she disagrees.


Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says because a signature is required to register to vote in Ohio, he needs lawmakers to order the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to share signatures of those registering to vote online. But Democratic Rep. Kathleen Clyde says other states are doing online registration without legislative action, and if voters can change their addresses online, they should be able to register online too.


“We should switch it on. I just think we’ve seen too many states go – the next frontier is automatic voter registration,” she said in a tense confrontation with the Secretary of State.


“You keep saying that, but I don’t have the authority to do that," Husted responded. "I don’t have the authority to just do things the way I want to do them. You want me to follow the law. I’ve heard you say that many times.”


Clyde, who may run for Secretary of State when the term-limited Husted leaves, says the bill might be a delaying tactic. But Husted says the bill needs to pass soon to be in place for fall presidential vote.