Columbus, Ohio—A bill mirroring Georgia’s election overhaul failed by one vote in the Ohio Legislature Monday. Senate File 103 lost, 49-50, after a handful of Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the measure. The most surprising vote, though, was not cast. Sen. Steve Fulmer (R-Granville) was not present for the vote. He was detained by security at the chamber door when he could not produce his state-issued legislative identification.
“Don’t you know who I am?” Fulmer is seen shouting at a guard in a cellphone video of the incident. “I gotta get in there to save our elections from antifa!”
“Sorry, senator, rules are rules,” the guard says.
The bill was the latest in a series of proposals across the country to make voting more difficult. Among its provisions:
· Prohibiting student IDs as acceptable identification (Sam’s Club membership cards and concealed-carry permits would still be legal);
· Banning voters who took public transportation to the polls;
· Limiting the use of drop boxes to 3:58-4:03 p.m. the day before the election;
· Ending early voting in counties that have professional sports teams; and
· Farmers get to vote twice.
The effort, though, was undermined as Fulmer spent a half-hour tearing apart his office looking in vain for his ID.
“We had the votes lined up, with the senate pro tempore ready to break the tie, and then everybody’s like, ‘where’s Steve?’” Senate Majority Leader Phil Worth (R-Yellow Springs) said. “We tried to stall by reading the Bill of Rights real slow, but after a while we just had to go through with it.”
While Worth was being interviewed, Sen. Whitney Sanders (D-Cleveland) passed by and said, “Irony’s a bitch, eh, Phil!”
“I’m not sure what the distinguished lady from Cleveland means by that,” Worth said.
Sanders and other Democrats rejoiced in their unexpected victory.
“I have to agree with my Republican colleagues, we have to have election integrity, I mean, anyone…” said Sen. LaRon Washington (D-Akron) as he burst into laughter. "It could have been him but, who knows, it could have been some guy from Canada."
Later, a still-incensed Fulmer held a press conference during which additional video was played. In it, Fulmer appears to say to a security guard, “But I’m Wh…” before catching himself mid-sentence.
“What was I going to say? I…I, of course, was going to say, ‘But I’m wishing I had my ID’.” Fulmer said. “I mean, don’t you guys say that? Like when you get pulled over while speeding? I know I do…not that that’s ever happened…OK, I’ve got a little bit of a lead foot but only when I’m drinking. I don’t…I don’t have a problem, it’s just that I’m in a little bit of a rough patch after (wife) Mandy moved out when she found out about me and the babysitter…”
The press conference abruptly ended when a member of Fulmer’s staff quickly threw a cape over Fulmer and dragged him out of the room.