COLUMBUS — Franklin County Judge Richard Frye on Tuesday ruled county boards of elections may install multiple secure drop boxes to accept vote-by-mail ballots.
The Ohio Democratic Party had filed a lawsuit arguing that multiple dropboxes are permissible under state law, though Secretary of State Frank LaRose last month banned counties from having more than one, which would be at county elections offices.
"The Secretary of State's directive banning multiple drop boxes is arbitrary and unreasonable, especially during a global pandemic when many more Ohioans want — and need — options for delivering their absentee ballots," Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper is quoted in a Tuesday afternoon release.
In Judge Frye's opinion, he noted LaRose has stated he would support additional drop boxes if they were legal, and abide by a court ruling in favor of them — "the ball is in LaRose's court now," he wrote.
Local board of elections directors who spoke to Mahoning Matters last month said additional drop boxes in the Nov. 3 election could be convenient for voters who live far from the elections offices but also had concerns about needs for additional security or manpower needed to maintain them.