State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Copley) today announced the passage of legislation aimed at expanding voter access and convenience by allowing Ohioans to register to vote online. 

Senate Bill 63, sponsored by LaRose, would authorize the Ohio Secretary of State to implement a secure online voter registration system. The new system would give Ohio voters the option of submitting a simple form online while maintaining the option of registering to vote by paper.

Ohio voters can update their voting address online, but new registrations must still be completed by paper under current law. From 2010 to 2012, estimates show, Ohio could have saved as much as $3 million dollars from processing registrations online.

"Online voter registration is a significant step forward for Ohio," said LaRose. "State and local governments will achieve major cost savings while maintaining the accuracy of voter records, improving convenience and reducing the chance of fraud."

The online voter registration system would instantly cross-check with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles' internal database, preventing fraud by verifying citizenship and other necessary information.

"This is about making it convenient and accessible for Ohioans to vote while improving efficiency and cost savings at the same time," said LaRose. "The 28 other states that already allow online voter registration have not experienced any incidences of voter fraud or security breaches as a result, even states like Arizona where voters have registered to vote online for more than a decade."

In addition to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and 45 counties in Ohio, organizations including Pew Charitable Trusts, Bipartisan Policy Center, County Commissioners Association of Ohio, ACLU of Ohio, League of Women Voters of Ohio, Project Vote, Fair Elections Legal Network, Ohio Council on Uniform State Laws, Ohio Voice and a large number of veterans groups have also expressed strong support for the legislation.

"It is time to move Ohio's voter registration procedures into the 21st century," said LaRose. "Modernizing our elections process is a goal that transcends party lines, and I'm grateful to President Faber for bringing this legislation to the floor for a vote. I would also like to thank Secretary Husted and his staff for their hard work and support on this initiative." 

Senate Bill 63 passed with broad bipartisan support and will now go to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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