Senators Williams, Antonio Applaud Lawsuit to Allow Multiple Drop Boxes
Today, Assistant Senate Minority Whip Senator Sandra R. Williams (Cleveland) and Senator Nickie J. Antonio (Lakewood) applauded the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP)'s lawsuit to allow county Boards of Elections to provide multiple secure drop boxes for the return of absentee ballots.
Local Boards had the authority to place multiple drop boxes until 8/13/20, when Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued a directive banning more than one drop box per county.
"With only one drop box per county, many Ohioans will be forced to drive long distances to return their ballot, if they can find transportation during a pandemic at all," said Senator Williams.
"Hopefully this lawsuit will push Frank LaRose to reverse his directive and use his existing authority to allow multiple drop boxes for Ohio voters."
Last month, Senators Williams and Antonio sent a letter to Secretary of State LaRose, detailing five improvements he could make to Ohio's voting system on his own, without legislative approval. Allowing multiple drop boxes is one of many steps he could take right now.
"There is nothing in the Ohio Revised Code requiring only one ballot drop box per county. Frank LaRose made this rule himself, then refused to share the legal opinion he used to do it," said Senator Antonio.
"This forces us to assume he unilaterally changed Ohio law, which the Secretary of State is not permitted to do. This lawsuit is not only warranted, it's necessary."
As ODP pointed out, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission recommends as a best practice that one drop box be available for every 15,000-20,000 registered voters.
Cuyahoga County has one drop box – and more than 860,000 registered voters.
Hamilton County transit times would also be cut considerably with additional drop boxes.
For more information about ODP’s lawsuit, click here.