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Photo ID required for next election

Voter checks in on election day
Debbie Holmes

Ohio’s new voter photo ID law goes into effect on April 7. That means you can’t just use a utility bill or a mortgage statement to prove your identity. You need an Ohio-issued photo ID.

On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown talk about the impact of the new law.


If you want to vote in August, in May, or in November, you will need a photo ID to prove who you say you are.

You can use your driver’s license, or an official state ID, which you can get for free at a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office. You can also use a passport.

For most of us, it’s not a big deal. Most of us already use our driver's licenses but for a fair number of people, this new law will make voting harder. It could affect people with limited incomes who don’t have a driver’s license, the elderly who no longer drive, and out-of-state college students.

Supporters of the new law say it will prevent voter fraud—namely voter impersonation—which is virtually non-existent. The conservative Heritage Foundation reports only 26 convictions of voter impersonation in the country over the past 18 years.

Snollygoster of the week

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said he supports an August special election for a proposed constitutional amendment which would increase the vote needed to change the constitution to 60%. The same Frank LaRose said he supported banning August elections because of the low turnout and expense just a few months ago.

LaRose said this is different because it’s a statewide issue, not a local school levy that local officials are trying to sneak past voters. He argued this will get plenty of attention which will drive turnout.

To which we ask, if turnout is the goal… why not wait until November, when we already have an election scheduled? Or even better, November of next year when we are electing a president.

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