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Ohio election change is cleared for state review

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A proposal to let Ohioans be automatically registered to vote when they conduct business at state Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices was cleared Thursday for review by the state Ballot Board.

The proposal announced earlier this year would also require early voting locations to be open on the two weekends prior to Election Day, and would allow eligible voters to register and vote on the same day.

Attorney General Dave Yost on Thursday certified the petition’s summary language and the validity of the first 1,000 signatures. The proposal from Ohioans for Secure and Fair Elections goes next to the Ballot Board for certification of the petition’s language. If the measure passes that review, its backers can begin the statewide signature-gathering process.

Under the proposal, military service members and overseas citizens would receive their ballots in a timely fashion and voters with disabilities would be guaranteed equal access to the ballot box.

The requirement that voters be registered during BMV trips unless they opt out is also part of pending House and Senate legislation.

Twenty-one states plus the District of Columbia have same-day voter registration, and more than a dozen have some manner of automated voter registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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