‘Ohio’s Strict New Voter ID Law’ Tweet

On April 4 2023, Imgur u/SugarTeet shared a screenshot of a tweet which warned voters in Ohio that a “new voter ID [identification]” law went into effect “TODAY”:

This claim was similar to others we examined in a March 27 2023 fact check. That particular page covered voting access as it related to Ohio State University students:

Fact Check

Claim: “Ohio’s strict new voter ID law goes into effect” in April 2023.

Description: The claim states that a very restrictive new voter identification law was introduced in Ohio and that it went into effect in April 2023.


Rating Explanation: The new voter ID law in Ohio did indeed go into effect in early April 2023, however the exact date was April 7, 2023, not April 4 as stated in the claim.

A viral March 27 2023 tweet by voting beat journalist Sam Levine said that “Ohio State University [was] advising students against voting in person on election day because Ohio’s new strict voter ID rules could result in complications for their financial aid packages.” Levine cited a March 26 2023 Associated Press article, and shared a screenshot.

In less widely-seen follow-up tweets, Levine provided additional information about Ohio State University, voting, and financial aid. Levine linked to a February 2023 article by student-run newspaper TheLantern.com. In it, an “indirect advisor” to campus voting advocacy group OSU Votes posited that in-person voting could interfere with financial aid tied to residency, and offered that mail-in voting was perhaps a safer option.

The screenshot shared to Imgur showed a screengrab of a tweet by @VoteRiders, the official account for an organization with the same name; it describes itself as focused on ensuring that all American citizens are able to exercise their right to vote:

VoteRiders is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mission to ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their freedom to vote. VoteRiders informs and helps citizens to secure their voter ID as well as inspires and supports organizations, local volunteers, and communities to sustain voter ID education and assistance efforts.

Kathleen Unger founded VoteRiders in 2012 as a direct response to the increasing number of stringent voter ID laws across the country.

Today, our team works alongside more than 1,155 partner organizations and 9,000 volunteers (including an army of pro bono lawyers) across the country.

On April 3 2023, WXIX published an article about the new law in Ohio, stating that it would go into effect on April 7 2023:

The new law, which was formerly known as House Bill 458, will require Ohio voters to use a photo ID card for all elections in-person. It also modified mail-in and early in-person voting policies … The bill was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine Jan. 6, 2023, and will go into effect Friday, April 7 [2023].

On April 2 2023, the Columbus Dispatch provided information about the new voter identification requirements in Ohio:

Voters must now present a photo ID when they cast ballots in-person, either during early voting or on Election Day. That can be an Ohio driver’s license, state ID, U.S. passport, passport card, military ID or interim identification issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The ID does not need to have your current address on it.

County-issued veteran IDs, such as those issued by the Franklin County recorder’s office, do not qualify.

To vote by mail, Ohioans need to provide a copy of their photo ID, driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

The new law also allows Ohioans 17 and older to receive a free state ID card. Voters who have religious objections to being photographed can cast a provisional ballot that excludes them from the ID requirement.

In the tweet, VoteRiders linked to a page on their site about voting in Ohio, “Ohio Voter ID Information.” It noted that three forms of identification were not accepted (out-of-state identification, student identification, and expired forms of identification),  and explained:

Ohio will have a stricter voter ID law starting on April 4, 2023. This page shows the new voter ID requirements. We will update this page as the Secretary of State issues new instructions.

To register to vote, you must provide your Ohio driver’s license or state identification card number or the last four digits of your social security number.

Registered voters in Ohio need to confirm their identity when they vote in person. There are several forms of identification you can use.

You need to provide either ID information or a copy of acceptable ID to vote by mail in Ohio.

Ohio’s Secretary of State maintained a page labeled “Identification Requirements.” It detailed acceptable forms of identification, and provided information on provisional ballots for Ohio voters.

A popular April 4 2023 tweet asserted a “new voter ID law” went into effect in Ohio on April 4 2023; other sources reported the law’s effective date as April 7 2023. All sources, however, indicated that the new restrictions went into effect in early April 2023, and voter advocacy groups amplified resources to counteract the impact of measures designed to suppress voting.