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Gavarone, Brenner Introduce Bill Protecting Ohio's Elections

May 23, 2024
Theresa Gavarone News

COLUMBUS—State Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and State Senator Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware) introduced Senate Bill 274 to keep Ohio's elections safe and secure.

Senate Bill 274 aims to improve Ohio's elections process by defending against cybersecurity threats and protecting, upgrading, and streamlining voter registration and elections administration.

"The goal of government should always be to continue to improve our processes and procedures. Ohio has made major strides to enhance our elections, specifically to keep them secure while maintaining accessibility to the ballot box," Gavarone said. "Senate Bill 274 builds upon this essential work through comprehensive, 21st century updates to our elections system."

"As technology continues to update and change, we must ensure that our elections and the systems in place are protected from outside entities," said Brenner. "This legislation continues to make Ohio's elections as safe and secure as possible and brings them up to date with the 21st century." 

Senate Bill 274 will protect Ohio's elections from growing cybersecurity threats by making several updates to current practices.

"Technology is rapidly evolving, which means that our systems must be constantly updated to prevent bad actors from threatening our elections," Gavarone said. "This bill has multiple tools to keep our elections safe."

Senate Bill 274 also protects and streamlines Ohio's voter registration systems and the voter registration process. The bill increases the amount of reviews for ineligible voters and provides counties with resources to verify identity and citizenship. It also requires Ohioans to register to vote using their Ohio driver’s license or state ID, which falls in line with Ohio’s laws for voting early, absentee, or on Election Day.

"I was proud to write the law that requires a photo ID to vote," Gavarone said. "Extending that policy to voter registration will make the full process for Ohio voters simple and seamless from when they register to when they show up to vote. Most importantly it will further protect our elections from potential fraud."

Senator Theresa Gavarone has sponsored numerous pieces of legislation to protect and improve Ohio's elections. In the 133rd General Assembly, Gavarone sponsored Senate Bill 52 to establish the Ohio Cyber Reserve to protect elections infrastructure and require audits of general election results in even-numbered years by boards of elections. Senator Gavarone also sponsored the DATA Act, which streamlines elections data to increase transparency and strengthen voter confidence in elections. Portions of that legislation were added to HB 33, the state's main operating budget. 

Senate Bill 274 must next be referred to a committee.