Ohio state senator Nina Turner unveils new Voter Protection Act

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Senator Nina Turner (OhioSenate.gov)

Senator Nina Turner (OhioSenate.gov)

Ohio, one of the biggest battleground states during this past presidential election, may be getting an update on the state’s voting regulations.

The Voter Protection Act, a new election reform submitted by state senator Nina Turner of Ohio, will make it easier for eligible Ohioans to vote.

The bill is said to “promote and facilitate ballot access, preventing arbitrary disenfranchisement of voters, and encouraging county election boards to make bipartisan adjustments to meet the needs of their communities.” Some of the provisions in the bill include the creation of an online voter registration system, expanding time windows for ballot casting, increasing the number of registered Ohioan voters and even shorten long lines to voting polls.

In a press conference, early this morning Senator Turner emphasized the myriad of problem withing Ohio’s voting system:

“Last year’s elections were plagued by lots of confusion,” she said. “Ohio in 2012, like 2004, was once again the epicenter of election controversy.”

The Democratic senator also openly criticized her Republican colleague, Secretary of State Jon Husted, for the long lines at the polls and also for spending “tax dollars to hire lawyers to pursue frivolous lawsuits while shutting down chances to vote.”

She also noted that he went to court to attempt to block early voters just three before the November 6th election.

In a response emailed to theGrio, Ohio Secretary of State Husted said “Secretary Husted has worked to reform elections in Ohio and remains committed to working with the legislature to find a bipartisan solution. The Secretary is pleased to see Sen. Turner’s position has evolved as she now appears to be supportive of issues she has previously voted against in recent years – such as online registration.”

Turner has already noted in the press conference that these new provisions will be costly for county boards however, she said it is their responsibility to cover these costs which will ultimately allow eligible voters the opportunity and access to vote in upcoming elections.

Follow Brittany Tom on Twitter @brittanyrtom