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Testimony on House Bill 467

This past Tuesday, May 14th, I had the distinct honor of presenting proponent testimony for House Bill 467 before the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee. This critical legislation aims to resolve the ambiguity surrounding Ohio's name change disclosure requirement for candidates. Specifically, it clarifies that candidates who have legally changed their names through an Ohio court order are not required to disclose their former names on campaign documents. Additionally, it excludes name changes occurring outside of Ohio and mandates the inclusion of a line on campaign forms for previous names, facilitating compliance.

Current Ohio law exempts name changes due to marriage from disclosure. However, the process for obtaining a court-ordered name change involves more rigorous safeguards, including appearing before a judge and publishing the name change in a local newspaper at least 30 days prior to the hearing. These requirements ensure transparency, as the court order and associated documents are accessible through public records requests.

Despite these safeguards, the absence of a designated space on campaign forms for prior names leaves candidates without a clear method to comply. House Bill 467 addresses this issue by providing clarity for both candidates and election officials, ensuring a level playing field by treating court-ordered name changes similarly to those resulting from marriage. This bill maintains the integrity and transparency of the electoral process while simplifying compliance requirements.

I am proud to have inspired this legislation and wholeheartedly support its passage.

Inspiration behind HB 467 - Left to Right, Bobbie Arnold, Arienne Childrey and Vanessa Joy

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