COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- Supporters of a bill that would require voters in Ohio show a photo ID to cast a ballot are hoping to force lawmakers to give it a vote.
The bill, which was introduced last September, has yet to get a hearing.
"This is an issue that people have been talking to me about for years, frankly, because they simply don't understand why something like this isn't already in place in Ohio," said State Rep. Matt Lynch, a Republican from the Cleveland-area.
A discharge petition has been filed by supporters. It would force the bill from committee and put it on the floor of the Ohio House of Representatives for a vote.
"It's time to get this done in Ohio and the discharge petition is the next step," Lynch said.
House Bill 269 would require voters to show a drivers license, state ID card, U.S. military ID, or U.S. Passport before they would be allowed to cast a ballot. It provides a free photo ID for those who don't have one and are at or below the federal poverty level.
"There really is no reason to oppose this unless you simply don't want to protect the integrity of the voting process," Lynch said.
The bill's sponsor, Clermont County Republican State Rep. John Becker, says the goal is to discourage fraud and provide a basic level of security for voting.
Opponents of the bill say voter fraud isn't a major problem.
“This effort to push strict photo voter ID on Ohioans is a transparent attempt to suppress the votes of poor voters, women voters, senior voters, student voters and minority voters," said State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, a Democrat from Kent. "Up to twenty percent of current Ohio voters do not have such an ID. Furthermore, the proposed voting restriction will cost taxpayers as much as $43 million over four years - all to solve a ‘problem’ that does not exist."
Clyde says that while Republicans claim photo ID bills are popular with voters, that changes once those voters find out what is really in the bill.