Christian Group Wants Ohio Voters to Show ID

File photo(Photo: Flickr)
File photo(Photo: Flickr)

A conservative Christian group is leading an effort to require Ohio voters to present photo IDs before casting their ballots.

Chris Long with the Ohio Christian Alliance says his group supports a bill sponsored by Republican State Representative John Becker that requires voters to present a valid driver’s license or official state issued identification card before they would be allowed to vote.

And Long says his group is going to collect the signatures needed to require lawmakers to either pass the plan, or allow his group to put it on the ballot.

“If they pass the initiative as is then mission accomplished, we are pleased. And that’s happened, for instance, with the community defense act a couple of years ago. And that was enacted into law,” Long said. ”But if they do nothing in those 90 days, if partisan bickering again degenerates this issue where better minds cannot prevail, then at the end of 90 days, we will have the opportunity to collect another 250,000 to 300,000 more signatures to place it on the ballot in 2015 and let the people of Ohio decide.”

Democrats have fought the photo ID requirement in the past because they say it will disenfranchise low income voters. Ed FitzGerald, the Democrat running for Ohio Governor, says he doesn’t like the Christian Coalition’s plan.

“I don’t know what voter ID has to do with Christianity and I haven’t seen their proposal but again, it’s another area where there are a few states in this country that are looking at restricting voting rights,” FitzGerald said. ”As our own Secretary of State has said, there’s not any kind of significant voter identification fraud in this state so I’m not sure what problem it is really addressing”

The Secretary of State says about .002 percent of all ballots cast in the 2012 presidential election showed evidence of possible fraud.

Democrats are working on putting their own voting-related issue on the ballot. Among other things, it would make current voter identification requirements – which do not include showing photo ID – part of the Ohio constitution.

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