Decision Expected Today on Return Postage for Absentee Ballots in Ohio

by

comment
ADOBESTOCK
  • AdobeStock

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio voters might have one less step to take in order to cast an absentee ballot for the November election.

The Ohio Controlling Board is expected to vote today on Secretary of State Frank LaRose's request to use $3 million in funding from his office to pay for return ballot postage.



With the spread of coronavirus still a concern, Catherine Turcer, executive director of the voting-rights organization Common Cause Ohio, explained purchasing a stamp to return a ballot is a difficult task for some Ohioans.

"During a pandemic, where people are facing some significant challenges, it makes sense for the state to pick up the cost and encourage people to vote by mail," Turcer said.



LaRose asked the Ohio Controlling Board for approval to appropriate the money after state lawmakers failed to act on an earlier request. Ohio voters can request an absentee ballot right now, which if approved will be mailed out by boards of election on Oct. 6.

About 22% of registered Ohio voters cast ballots in the May primary, compared with the nearly 44% who voted in the 2016 presidential primary.

Turcer contends making voting by mail more accessible is crucial to ensuring every voter is able to cast a ballot this November.

"Which makes Election Day much safer and much easier to manage for election officials and poll workers who are going to have to be thinking about social distancing, PPE and all of the other challenges with this election," she said.

In 2016, 1.2 million Ohioans voted absentee. So far, more than 1 million absentee ballot requests have been submitted for November, a threshold that wasn't reached in 2016 until 28 days before Election Day.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.