Summary HB472 – Ohio Votes Count Act

Big Picture Issues
– Election officials are not computer specialists, but elections rely heavily on computer technology.
– Even when known to be ineligible, a voter registration generally requires 4 or more years to be removed.
– Voting systems are built to aged standards.
– Tens of thousands of non-citizens have come to Ohio and could become registered to vote.

Voter Registration Data Validation

ISSUES: State and county voter registration systems contain numerous avoidable data entry errors.


  • Use reference lists of names and addresses to verify new and existing voter registration records.
  • Issue monthly reports to counties identifying various errors in their voter registration databases.
  • Require electors’ voter registration information to match the information on their driver’s license or state identification card.
  • Initiates audits of the statewide voter registration database and selected county databases by the Auditor of State
  • Simplify the system for assigning unique record identifiers in the statewide voter registration database.
  • Increase the frequency of review for non-citizens and other ineligible voters.
  • Use a commercial service for voter registration data analysis.

Identity and Citizenship Verification

ISSUE: Insufficient safeguards to prevent non-citizens and ineligible persons from registering and voting.


  • Provide counties with resources to verify identity and citizenship prior to registration and for absentee and provisional ballot screening.
  • Expand voter registration instructions to include citizenship and other eligibility requirements.
  • Introduce safeguards and procedures at social services, BMV and registration agencies to ensure that noncitizens are not misled into illegally registering to vote.
  • Require an elector to vote a provisional ballot until their citizenship is verified.

Board of Voting System Examiners

ISSUE: The Board lacks cybersecurity expertise and lacks authority over voter registration systems


  • Include cybersecurity experts on the board of voting system examiners.
  • Establish standards and require certification of new voter registration systems.
  • Require a cybersecurity review when certifying a voting system.
  • Require publication of voting system certification reports and recommendations.
  • Requires voter registration systems to be physically located in Ohio and in a facility under the board of elections control.

Cybersecurity Standards

ISSUE: Outdated standards for security of election systems.


  • Use experts to conduct a cyber security assessment of voting systems seeking certification.
  • Set standards for voting system certification based on NIST and current federal guidelines.
  • Require periodic security reviews for continued certification.
  • Require disclosure of software development practices as part of the security review.
  • Require use of a digital blockchain ledger to log all voter registration system changes.

Audit Voter Registration Databases

  • Require the Auditor of State to conduct an annual audit of the statewide voter registration database and three randomly selected counties.

Election Administration

  • Requires most persons to register to vote using an Ohio driver’s license or stated identification card number.
  • Requires most voters to include a copy of their voter identification when returning a mail-in ballot.
  • Requires a provisional ballot to be counted when both a provisional and mail-in ballot are cast.
  • Requires a voter to sign a form when updating their voter registration.
  • Requires online publishing of voter and election reports.