Ohio Congressional Democrats Urge Sec. of State Frank LaRose to Make it Easier for Ohio to Vote During COVID-19 Pandemic
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), along with U.S. Representatives Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Tim Ryan (OH-13), and Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Elections, sent a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose urging him to reconsider his decision to prohibit local boards of elections from providing multiple, secure ballot drop boxes in each county. Last week, in the wake of an ongoing, unprecedented public health crisis, Secretary LaRose unilaterally banned county boards of elections from providing more than one ballot drop box for completed absentee ballots.
“Ohio’s primary this spring provided a number of valuable lessons for election administrators and voting rights advocates to learn how to improve when and how we will vote this fall. Unfortunately, very little has been done by way of translating those lessons into concrete plans of action to safeguard November’s election. The actions you take in the next month dictate what millions of Ohioans who vote this fall will understand about the effectiveness and adaptability of its state government, and whether or not it will have risen to the circumstances of the moment or succumbed to being, at best, a cautionary tale for mismanagement,” the lawmakers wrote.
This year, following a chaotic primary season, Ohioans know firsthand that steps must be taken to ensure that they are given a full opportunity to vote in a safe, healthy, and predictable manner. Secure ballot drop boxes can play a key part in such efforts. Without question, however, unless rescinded, LaRose’s policy will create a barrier to voting and directly threaten the health and safety of Ohioans and their families.