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Ohio political parties react to Sec. of State's 'one dropbox per county' order

Franklin Co. judge calls order unreasonable
Ohio's mail-in primary tests voting during virus outbreak
Posted at 10:11 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 23:23:50-04

For Ohio voters, a dropbox is dropping a lot of controversy. Each of Ohio’s 88 counties will have exactly one dropbox for voters to deposit their ballots in this November, Secretary of State Frank LaRose ruled in August. Those who can’t or don’t want to make the trip will need to vote in person or mail their ballots in, as usual.

“It says a lot that it’s turned into a fight when it’s a no-brainer for voters,” said Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper. “This is something that’s not a Republican or Democratic idea. It’s just something to make it easy for people in challenging time.”

Pepper is in favor of having multiple voting dropboxes in different parts of each county at places like libraries and city halls.

"It also helps in Adams County where except for Route 32, there aren't as many major highways," Pepper said.

A Franklin County Common Pleas judge didn’t block LaRose from enforcing his order. In fact, no order was issued by the judge, just his ruling.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank Larose issued the single drop-box order to county board of elections in August. At that time, he said having more than one could invite lawsuits.

"Lacking that, today's ruling didn't change anything and the Secretary's Directive remains in place. The law is clear," read a statement from LaRose’s spokesperson.

The current law says voters may personally deliver their absentee ballots to the director of the Board of Elections. Nothing in the law describes the use of drop boxes.

"Ohioans are fortunate that the judicial branch offers the opportunity to appeal a single trial judge's opinion,” LaRose’s office released.

The Ohio Republican party also issued a statement: "Their rhetoric surrounding election security is incompatible with free and fair elections."

Pepper said drop boxes aren’t a partisan issue.

"It's a box,” he said. “This isn't that hard. Government should be able to figure this out. If you can't figure it out maybe you're the wrong person."

Pepper said he’s hopeful the courts will sort everything out before election day arrives.