Today, Ohio Senator Nickie Antonio (Lakewood) released the following statement condemning Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose for issuing a new directive banning county Boards of Elections from offering additional ballot drop boxes to voters:
"I am frankly sickened by Secretary of State LaRose's actions today. This is an attack on voting rights in Ohio, plain and simple.
"Frank LaRose has taken it upon himself to ban additional drop boxes, actively making it harder for Ohioans to return their ballots during a pandemic.
"Frank LaRose is also admitting with this directive that he had the power to add ballot drop boxes all along.
"He ignored our repeated calls for him to act, and now says there's no time to act. This is inexcusable.
"There is still time for Secretary of State LaRose to do the right thing. With nearly three months until Election Day, plenty of counties could add more secure drop boxes, and even install cameras to monitor them.
"All the Boards of Elections need is the authority they apparently had all along, until Frank LaRose unilaterally decided to take it away this morning.
"My Democratic colleagues and I will be doubling down on our push to strengthen Ohio's voting process. Ohioans need safe, simple, and secure voting options every election, but especially during the ongoing COVID crisis.
"This is a fight worth having. As John Lewis reminded us, 'people before us died in the fight for free and fair elections.'“
** Senator Nickie J. Antonio Represents the 23rd Ohio Senate District and serves as Campaign Chair for the Ohio Senate Democrats. **