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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.

Franklin County Court Rules All Ohioans Should Be Able To Request Absentee Ballots Online

A Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge  has ruled Ohioans can apply for absentee mail-in ballots online. 

Ohioans who want to vote by mail must fill out a paper application then send or hand deliver it to their local board of elections. The Ohio Democratic Party’s David Pepper says the suit he filed contended Secretary of State Frank LaRose could allow all Ohioans to file for a ballot electronically just like Ohioans who vote from overseas can. 

“Why should someone be able to send it from Russia and not Russia Ohio?," Pepper asks.

Attorneys for LaRose argued that switching to online applications now could cause problems with the November election. LaRose will appeal the ruling.

LaRose has issued a statement:

Attributable to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose:

"Today’s ruling rolls out the red carpet to Russian hackers – painting a giant bullseye on the back of our election system and upending the significant progress Ohio has made on elections cybersecurity. It injects chaos into what was already a challenging election for our county boards of elections, and we are confident that a higher court will correct this quickly."

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