Ohio’s recently passed Voter ID law, HB 458, which requires voters to present government-issued photo-identification cards in order to vote, currently excludes veterans ID cards issued by the County Recorder’s Office from the types of ID cards that can be used.
Currently, the text of the bill (found at https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/134/hb458/documents) limits eligible military identification documents to “a United States military identification card, Ohio National Guard identification card, or United States Department of Veterans Affairs identification card.”
“Because the language of HB 458 limits eligible forms of military ID to those listed above,” said Delaware County Recorder Melissa Jordan, “it appears to inadvertently invalidate the usage of the Ohio County Recorder’s veteran ID card as a voter ID.”
Jordan added: “We began issuing Veteran ID cards in Delaware County in 2014, and successfully worked to make these cards a valid form of ID under Ohio law in 2016. I have been assured the exclusion of this valid ID from HB 458 was merely an oversight and the legislature is working to correct this error, so those who have defended our freedoms can continue to use this valid state ID while exercising their constitutional right at the voting booth.”
Former Delaware County Recorder and current State Senator Andrew Brenner (R-District 19) said: “I was made aware of the voter photo ID bill error that inadvertently left out the Veteran ID’s issued by the Recorder’s Office and have spoken with the bill sponsor, Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-District 2). She assures me that the matter will be fixed prior to the next election. I will stay on top of this very important correction needed on HB 458.”
The local Vietnam Veterans Chapter 1095 president Harold Wolford said, “I am aware of the issue and will inform veterans of the corrective measures the legislature plans to take. I am hopeful the language will include all valid state recognized IDs in the final, corrected version.”
Ohio County Recorders’ Offices, per Ohio Revised Code, Section 317.241 (https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-317.241), have the ability to issue a state-recognized veteran identification card with an on-file DD-214 or other ORC recognized discharge document.
For more information about the Delaware County Recorder’s Office, go to: https://recorder.co.delaware.oh.us/.