Ohio Republicans have unveiled a digital campaign aimed at curbing voter fraud, arguing that it is necessary in light of a growing trend of Americans voting without an ID and a spike in voter fraud.
The plan is aimed at bolstering voter rolls in states like North Carolina and Indiana, where it has already been used to prevent voter fraud by expanding the number of provisional ballots cast.
“There is a growing pattern of fraud,” said Rep. Tim Walz (D), a member of the Ohio Republican Party, during a panel discussion on Tuesday.
“And I think the more people are informed about it, the more they’re going to be willing to vote, the less likely they are to commit fraud.”
Walz’s plan, dubbed Ohio Vote for Accountability, would make it harder for people who don’t have an ID to register to vote.
He said that it would require a state-issued ID card, and would require voters to present a photo ID when voting.
Walz said he is not calling for voter ID requirements to be eliminated, but that they should be used sparingly.
He added that the state should not rely on provisional ballots to ensure that people are voting, noting that provisional ballots have become more common in recent years.
John Kasich (R) and his chief election official, Dan Ariely, said that the proposal was necessary in a changing world.
“I’m not saying it’s going to fix everything,” Kasich said on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday, referring to the possibility of more people being impersonated.
“But I am saying it does need to be the first step.”
Ariel added that “somebody has to do it,” and he suggested that voters should register with their social security numbers.
But Walz, the top Republican in the Ohio House, suggested that people would vote more safely if they could vote with their names, and that people with more IDs should be allowed to vote more easily.
“This is an election that is going to have to be held,” Walz told reporters.
“We have to take care of ourselves.”
Ohio, the only other state in the country where a provisional ballot is required to vote on Election Day, was one of several battleground states where provisional ballots were used in the 2016 election.
The state’s Republican Party last month launched an online campaign to get people to vote by mail.
The party has also used provisional ballots in the past, and it is not clear if that plan will continue.
The number of voters who were purged from the voter rolls since November 8 has risen from 3.7 million to 5.9 million since then.
A report by the Brennan Center for Justice found that people were purging the voter roll because they could not prove their identity, because they were not registered, or because they had not cast a vote in five years.
The Brennan Center found that 2.5 million people had been purged in Ohio since November.
Many of those people were from minority communities, including Latinos, black and young people, people with disabilities and the elderly.
But the Brennan report noted that the purge did not include nearly 2.8 million Ohioans who were listed as being eligible to vote for the first time, but whose registrations had been removed because of their status as provisional voters.
The Republican Party also announced that it will spend $10 million to train voter-registration volunteers in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to increase their participation and reach out to the more than 2.7-million provisional voters in those states.