Sen. Sherrod Brown: Ohio GOP should be 'ashamed of themselves' for election bill

·2 min read

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown took aim at Ohio Republican lawmakers Wednesday, saying their proposed changes to state voting laws are a knee-jerk reaction to Donald Trump's false claims about the 2020 election.

The legislation introduced last month would make a slew of changes to the election process, including restrictions on the placement of drop boxes and requiring two forms of identification to request a mail-in ballot online. Advocates for voting access back some provisions but have sounded the alarm about others.

In a call with reporters Wednesday, Brown, a Democrat, said GOP legislators are responding to an "abject lie" peddled by the former president by attempting to hamper voting access.

"They should be ashamed of themselves," he said. "It's why Republicans are going to start losing more elections in Ohio because the voters know that they're playing to that big lie from an angry president that cares more about dividing people than he does unifying our country."

The bill's Republican sponsors say the legislation addresses issues raised over the years by Republicans, Democrats and voter advocates.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) speaks to the media after touring a mass vaccination site on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at the Celeste Center in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Mysheika Roberts, director of Columbus Public Health, and Al Edmondson, owner of a Columbus barber shop, joined Sen. Brown on the tour to talk about the importance of vaccination. Vaccination rates across the country are dropping, and health officials are concerned herd immunity may not be possible in the United States.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) speaks to the media after touring a mass vaccination site on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at the Celeste Center in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Mysheika Roberts, director of Columbus Public Health, and Al Edmondson, owner of a Columbus barber shop, joined Sen. Brown on the tour to talk about the importance of vaccination. Vaccination rates across the country are dropping, and health officials are concerned herd immunity may not be possible in the United States.

More: Democrats keep comparing Ohio's election bill to Georgia's. How do they stack up?

Brown joined his Democratic Senate colleagues Tuesday in backing legislation that sought to serve as a buffer against voting restrictions passed in other states. But Republicans, including Sen. Rob Portman, blocked the measure after contending it would federalize state-run elections.

"I’m proud of the way we conduct our elections in Ohio, in part because we’ve got high turnout," Portman said Tuesday. "In fact, we had record turnout last year. And that’s great. And I don’t want to leave it up to federal employees here in Washington, D.C. to determine how our system should work in Ohio, which is what this legislation would do."

Brown's comments came just days before Trump will visit Lorain County to stump for former White House aide Max Miller, who is challenging Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in 2022. Trump also endorsed coal lobbyist Mike Carey in the 15th Congressional District special election.

"I think it'll be very good for Donald Trump's ego," Brown said of the rally.

Haley BeMiller is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Sen. Sherrod Brown takes aim at Ohio Republicans over voting bill

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