VoteRiders Offers Help to Ohioans in Response to Strict New Voter ID Law

Written by: Reid Magney

VoteRiders is offering expanded assistance to citizens in Ohio who need an ID to vote, now that one of the most onerous voter ID laws in the nation has gone into effect.

Ohio became the eighth state to adopt a strict voter photo ID law after the Ohio Legislature passed HB 458 during the end-of-year, lame duck session, which was signed on January 6, 2023, by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Under the new law, Ohio citizens can no longer use, for example, a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document to identify themselves to vote.

Instead, voters must now provide one of the following unexpired photo IDs that show their name:

  • Ohio driver’s license, state ID card or interim identification form*
  • US passport or passport card
  • US military ID card, Ohio National Guard ID card or US veterans affairs ID card

A voter who does not have or is unable to provide one of these photo IDs:

  • When voting in person: may cast a provisional ballot or
  • When applying for an absent voter’s ballot: may provide the last four digits of their social security number.

The new law authorizes any person 17 and over who applies for and receives a state ID card or a replacement state ID card from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to receive it for free. However, VoteRiders knows from a decade of experience helping voters across the country that the actual cost of the ID is just one of numerous hurdles that many voters face.

According to decades of research, as many as 11% of United States citizens do not have current government-issued photo identification. And as many as 7% of United States citizens do not have ready access to citizenship documents such as their birth certificate. Those without an acceptable government-issued photo ID are more likely to be elderly, a member of a minority group, young voters or have a lower income.

“We know it can be a challenge for some citizens to locate and collect all the relevant documents they need to secure a state ID, as well as to pay for them,” said VoteRiders Executive Director Lauren Kunis. “In addition, they may have difficulty making appointments at the right government agencies and then physically traveling there during limited business hours.”

Voters in need of photo ID in Ohio can visit the VoteRiders website to start the process of obtaining free help to get one: https://VoteRiders.org/freehelp, or call or text our toll-free Helpline, 844-338-8743.

“Any eligible Ohio voter can call or text us with questions and to start the process to get free help!” Kunis said. That assistance can include obtaining and paying for a copy of a birth certificate and arranging and paying for a ride to the motor vehicle office to acquire an ID.

Kunis urged Ohio voters in need of an ID to get started right away. “For some people, it can take months to pull together all the paperwork necessary to get a photo ID to vote,” said. “Municipal elections are coming up in May.”

About VoteRiders

VoteRiders is the country’s leading organization focused on voter ID. A nonpartisan nonprofit, our mission is to educate people about their state’s voter ID requirements and provide comprehensive assistance to ensure that citizens can vote with confidence, knowing they cannot be turned away.

* An “interim identification form” is a document issued by the registrar of motor vehicles or a deputy registrar to an applicant for a driver’s license or state identification card that contains all of the information otherwise found on the license or card until the physical license or card arrives in the mail.