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Ohio House Democrats push vote-by-mail approach for primary

“We cannot risk further chaos and jeopardize the health of everyday Ohioans by scheduling another in-person primary during this deadly pandemic,” House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes said.
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COLUMBUS — Ohio House Democrats want to eliminate in-person voting during the state’s primary, which was moved to June 2.

The “only way to hold this election with minimum risk for voters and poll workers alike is to conduct vote-by-mail only, a proven, secure system that’s already up and running in other states,” House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, said in a statement. “We cannot risk further chaos and jeopardize the health of everyday Ohioans by scheduling another in-person primary during this deadly pandemic.”

Democrats also want to set an April 28 deadline for mailing in ballots, offer prepaid postage for absentee ballots and make absentee ballot applications available electronically.

Ohio's primary was scheduled for March 17 along with Florida, Illinois and Arizona. Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton ordered polls to close the day before because of a health emergency, prompting the Democratic Party to file a writ of prohibition with the Ohio Supreme Court, which failed.

Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown, wants a universal vote-by-mail system in Ohio.

Under the UVBM proposal, voters could vote by mail or drop off their ballots at a Voter Service and Polling Center, a county Board of Election or secure mail drop boxes to be located in Ohio’s 88 counties. Voters also could cast ballots at their county’s BOE or VSPC.

“Over the years, Ohio voters have been subjected to a variety of voter suppression efforts. The threat to election security is real in 2020,” Lepore-Hagan said in a news release. “We must and we can modernize our voting system. UVBM will assure that every eligible Ohioan has the opportunity to cast their vote and that every vote cast is counted.”

— Story courtesy of The Center Square




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