COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued an order Monday that will make it easier for absentee voters to drop off their ballots.
LaRose issued Directive 2020-22, making it clear that every Ohio county board of elections may install more than one secure receptacle at their board for the return of absentee ballots and the board may station bipartisan election officials outside of county boards to accept absentee ballots.
All 88 Ohio county boards of elections are now required to accept absentee ballots 24-hours a day, seven days a week via secure receptacles at their office and election officials are able to collect completed absentee ballots outside of the county board of elections at convenient drive-through ballot drop offs. LaRose’s office said in a release, “Ohio voters now have more options to return absentee ballots than ever before. These options are in addition to the most convenient and commonly used method for voters to return absentee ballots – by mail – which continues to be a safe and standard method for absentee voting. Additionally, voters may cast a vote early in-person or in-person on election day.”
The Secretary’s office said LaRose will ask the Ohio Legislature to work with him to clarify the current laws about the use of drop boxes to deliver absentee ballots.
“Tomorrow, absentee ballots will begin being mailed out to over 2 million Ohioans who requested them and voting starts at 88 early voting locations across the state in what will be the most accessible election in state history,” said LaRose. “Despite predictable partisan politics that attempt to create phony crises, we have kept our eye on the ball and Ohio’s election officials are ready to administer a safe, secure, and accurate election.”
More than 2 million Ohioans have requested an absentee ballot putting Ohio on pace to more than double the number of ballots cast by mail in 2016, according to LaRose’s office.
Election mail is expected to be efficiently and effectively transported to county boards of elections. Ohio law allows boards of elections to receive ballots up to ten days after the election as long as they are postmarked by November 2nd.
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