State Senate Slips Odd Student Voting Provision into Transportation Budget

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Last-minute additions to budgets and bills often have very little to do with whatever it is to which they're being added. For instance, this week the Ohio Senate passed a transportation budget that contains what some are calling a "poll tax" on college students.

The transportation budget!

In short, the amendment here would require out-of-state college students who register to vote from their campus address in Ohio to first register their cars in Ohio within 30 days and obtain Ohio state driver's licenses. The cost for that comes in around $75, hence the prohibitive "tax" language used by opponents. 

Secretary of State Jon Husted said: "By registering to vote, you are declaring you are a resident. We hope they become Ohioans and we hope they want to vote here."

Opponents in the legislature, like State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, say that the provision will just deter voting among this demographic outright. 

The House is expected to vote on this budget today before sending it to Gov. John Kasich.


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