Much work remains to be done on the state budget, now under consideration in the Ohio Senate. Fortunately, that work no longer includes discussion of an ill-conceived House plan clearly intended to suppress the turnout of student voters.
The plan was inserted by House Republicans, who would have required universities to grant in-state tuition to students if they were provided with documentation, such as utility bills, needed to vote in Ohio. Universities stood to lose an estimated $370 million in tuition, so the practical effect was clear. They would be forced to stop providing the documents students need.
Majority Republicans in the Ohio Senate this week wisely deleted the plan from the budget bill sent over by the House, after facing strong objections from universities and voting rights activists. Senate members from both sides of the aisle requested that it be stripped.
The reality is, requirements for in-state tuition and voting are very different. Voting requires a 30-day residency period, while in-state tuition usually requires a 12-month stay, with no evidence of outside support. Linking them makes no sense.
Keith Faber, the Senate president, said the Houseís idea did merit further discussion. Letís hope not. Students deserve access to the ballot, and the stateís universities need the higher tuition paid by out-of-state students.