COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As Congress debates the For The People Act, Ohio’s top elections official said it would be a major overreach by the federal government.
Democrats say the bill will prioritize protecting and expanding the voting rights of all Americans. HR1 would bring in sweeping reform to elections nationwide, allowing same-day voter registration, placing a limit on minimum early voting days, and making election day a holiday.
“Our democracy works best when we can all participate,” said Jen Miller, Ohio League of Women Voters.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said he doesn’t disagree with everything in the bill, but believes state legislatures should have power over what their elections look like.
“Each state has different ways of doing things, different sets of equipment, different training,” he said. “You can’t just flip a switch in Washington D.C. and mandate that all 50 states do it the same way.”
Some states have made changes to the election process since the 2020 election. Georgia most notably recently passed restrictive changes to the election process. Voting rights advocates said those states are an example of why HR1 is necessary.
“I’m concerned about what we’re seeing in various states to reduce voting access and by the way those conversations are happening at our statehouse, too, even if we haven’t seen legislation yet,” Miller said.
LaRose said voting needs to be accessible, but people also need to trust the process.
“If they try to do that, it will lead to confusion, which ultimately corrodes voter trust and confidence which is probably the most dangerous thing that could happen,” he said.
The For the People Act has already passed the House of Representatives, but there are still questions on whether it will be able to pass the U.S. Senate.