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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Ohio Congressional Democrats Urge Ohio Attorney General Yost to Join Litigation to Make It Easier for Ohioans to Vote

Oct 22, 2020
Press Release

U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), along with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), and Representatives Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Marcia Fudge (OH-11) and Tim Ryan (OH-13), recently penned a letter to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost urging him to join litigation against the United States Postal Service (USPS), allow for the installation of drop boxes without superfluous restrictions, and abandon unnecessary signature matching regulations for absentee ballots. The Ohio Attorney General is directing the State’s legal defense on voting policies that are constraining Ohioans ability to cast their ballots. The lawmakers wrote to remind the State Attorney General of several simple steps he could take to streamline voting procedures and to make it easier for Ohioans to cast their ballots. 

“Protections enshrined in the Constitution and numerous federal statutes were designed to empower Americans with the inalienable right to vote,” the Ohio lawmakers wrote in their letter. “Keystone statutes like the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) were drafted to empower ordinary Americans in the exercise of their Constitutionally protected right to vote. Unfortunately, state laws masquerading as “protections” against non-existent voter fraud, have a long history of disenfranchising Americans, particularly working-class voters and communities of color. We fear that your positions hinder access to the ballot box and risk repeating that history, sending a chilling message to the people of our state about the value of their vote.” 

 In September, the lawmakers sent a letter to Ohio Secretary of State LaRose urging him to work with the skilled and dedicated tradespeople of Ohio to locate additional drop boxes across all 88 counties, and another letter requesting him to provide prepaid postage on return ballots and ballot applications.

 Lawmakers in the letter to Yost identify several steps to improve voter accessibility in the state of Ohio. These include the push for the state to adopt changes regarding signature matching sought by voting rights advocates, provide Ohioans with sufficient and secure drop boxes, expand the accessibility of voting in collaboration with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and finally take steps to ensure that Ohioans are able to vote freely and fairly this election cycle. 

 The actions taken by the Trump Administration to sow discord in the integrity of our elections are deeply troublesome to lawmakers and voters alike. The lack of presidential leadership is intended to compromise the sanctity of our democracy and destabilize our confidence in the fall elections. Ohio lawmakers are pressing the chief legal officer in Ohio, Secretary Yost, to collaborate with Secretary LaRose on the USPS litigation and to take further steps to protect our electoral system.