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LaRose wrong to limit ballot drop boxes

DEAR EDITOR:

Most Ohioans believe that for democracy to work, it must include all of us — no matter our race, background or county where we live. That is what Americans have stood up and fought for since our country’s founding.

Unfortunately, here in the Buckeye State we have watched Republicans as they keep trying to take us backwards, creating barriers for eligible voters and making it harder to cast a ballot.

The latest example is Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who continues to block expanded drop box locations for voters to return their ballots securely and safely during the coronavirus pandemic. During the 2020 election, we saw long lines during early voting and cars backed up for blocks, as they waited to return their ballots to each county’s single drop box location. When I returned my ballot to the Trumbull County drop box, I had to wait for a parking space, and the area was so crowded that I was worried about getting in a car accident.

Frank LaRose’s actions to limit ballot boxes go against multiple court rulings. In September, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Frye ruled that LaRose had no legal basis to limit ballot boxes to one per county, and boards of election may tailor ballot drop box locations to the needs of their individual counties. In October, Judges Julia L. Dorrian, a Democrat, and Judge Betsy Luper Schuster, a Republican, wrote that LaRose’s interpretation that only one drop box per county is allowed under state law was “unreasonable.”

We can do better, Ohio. To move forward as a state, we must ensure every eligible Ohioan has the freedom to vote safely and conveniently. The first step is Frank LaRose must end his arbitrary and unnecessary prohibition on additional drop boxes.

MARNE CARIO

Girard

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