© 2020 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Government & Politics
2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

LaRose Says AG Will Determine If Boards Of Elections Can Add Ballot Drop Boxes

A voter shows her absentee ballot to Franklin County Board of Elections Director Ed Leonard (left) before putting it in the ballot drop box on the last day of weekend early voting before the March 2020 primary.
A voter shows her absentee ballot to Franklin County Board of Elections Director Ed Leonard (left) before putting it in the ballot drop box on the last day of weekend early voting before the March 2020 primary.

The state’s Republican chief elections officer and Ohio Democrats continue to battle over installing additional drop boxes where absentee voters could deposit their ballots if they’re concerned about the security and speed of mailing them in this fall. 

There’s a ballot drop box at each of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections.

In an interview for "The State of Ohio" this week, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said it could be a challenge to add more in secure locations with 24-hour surveillance with just three months till the election.

“If it's legal to add extra drop boxes, then I'm certainly open to that idea," LaRose said. "It's a question that I've asked the attorney general to clarify, because the Ohio revised code is definitely not clear as to the question of whether counties can add additional drop boxes."

And LaRose said he’s not sure how counties would get the word out about where those boxes would be located.

LaRose said he's also concerned about how the ballots in those boxes would be handled: “Almost everything about elections ends up becoming a subject of litigation, and the last thing we need weeks before the election is to have a dozen different county board of elections having to go to court over whether they can continue counting ballots that are deposited in their drop boxes.”

Democrats have sent a letter to the AG saying there’s nothing in the law to prevent boards of elections from adding those boxes, which they say could give absentee voters another option besides relying on the US mail.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.