Ohio Democratic Congressional Delegation Urges Sec. of State LaRose to Comply with Court Ruling Authorizing Multiple Ballot Drop Boxes in Each County
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), U.S. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11), and U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) sent a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose urging him to comply with a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas’ ruling directing him to allow multiple ballot drop boxes in each county.
“Time and again, failures to use your authority to make it easier for people to vote have put Ohioans at risk, including your refusal to prepay postage on ballots or allow multiple drop boxes in each county. It is your responsibility to exercise your authority to make it easier for Ohioans to vote safely. That is why we urge you to follow the Franklin County Common Pleas Court ruling and not waste taxpayer resources in mounting an appeal,” wrote the lawmakers.
Last month, in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis and the Trump Administration’s attempts to undercut the United States Postal Service (USPS), LaRose inexplicably banned county boards of elections from providing more than one ballot drop box for completed absentee ballots. He acted to ban additional secure drop boxes at the same time that absentee ballot applications were “pouring into Ohio’s boards of elections at an unprecedented rate.” In August, the congressional quartet sent a letter to LaRose urging him to reconsider his decision by explaining his clear authority to permit multiple drop boxes in each county. This authority was affirmed by the Franklin County Court’s ruling on Tuesday.
Brown, Beatty, Kaptur, Fudge, and Ryan also sent a letter to LaRose last week asking him to use his existing authority to prepay postage for absentee ballots and ballot applications for the upcoming 2020 General Election in Ohio. The lawmakers also demanded that LaRose work with USPS to guarantee ballots that originate in Ohio are delivered on time, with visible postmarks, and do not succumb to delays and cost cutting measures—which could endanger timely delivery of vote by mail ballots.