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Ohioans to decide on amendment to ban non-citizen voting

Yellow Springs sidewalk bench and shop signs
Yellow Springs voters approved a referendum to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections in 2019.

Issue 2 would make Ohio the 7th state to explicitly ban non-citizens from voting in elections. Ohio’s constitution already says you have to be a citizen to vote, but the village of Yellow Springs still tried to let non-citizens vote in local contests.

On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the proposed state constitutional amendment on voting that critics call unnecessary. State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Green Township) joins the show.

Countdown to Election Day

We are days away from the end of the 2022 Campaign. If the polls are correct, the big races still up for grabs are for U.S. Senate and probably Ohio Supreme Court.

Governor Mike DeWine has led by big margins over his democratic challenger Nan Whaley. Nothing has changed in the past week so it looks like DeWine will win a second term. The only question is how close Nan Whaley will come.

The Ohio Supreme Court race is tougher to track because there has been very little public polling. A poll done by Spectrum News and Siena College published last week shows Democrat Jennifer Brunner and Republican Sharon Kennedy basically tied. We don't have any new polling on the other races.

For the U.S. Senate race, the last two tracking polls by the firm Cygnal have Vance maintaining a 5-point lead while other polls have the race statistically tied.

Maybe it was the poll numbers that prompted Tim Ryan to agree to a Fox News interview a week before the election. He appeared at a special Fox News Town Hall held in Columbus. Ryan and Vance appeared separately.

It’s fair to say the Fox News anchors were tougher on Ryan than they were on Vance, but each candidate got his message out to what likely was a more conservative audience.

Issue 2

Issue 2 suggests language for the state constitution that reinforces the qualifications to vote, including making sure that non-citizens can't vote.

The village of Yellow Springs tried to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, but the effort was stopped by Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

Republican Representative Bill Seitz supports the passage of Issue 2 and says letting non-citizens vote is a bad idea that is creeping in from coastal cities.

The constitution already states that Ohio voters are to be U.S. citizens who fulfill residency requirements.

Opponents say the measure might interfere with 17-year-olds who are allowed to vote in primaries as long as they turn 18 by Election Day.

If you have a suggestion for our Snollygoster of the Week award, a question or a comment, send them to snollygoster@wosu.org.