Secretary of state answers questions about more secure ballot drop boxes
Across Ohio, more of its eight million voters are expected to vote by an absentee ballot before the November presidential election due to the pandemic.
With that increase in volume and fears of election interference, there are concerns about sending ballots by mail. Ballot boxes have been set up outside all of the boards of elections, but state Democrats say that's not enough. They have filed a lawsuit filed against the Secretary of State.
Outside the Trumbull County Board of Elections, there's a dropbox to accept absentee ballots for the upcoming November election. One has been set up in each of Ohio's 88 counties. But is one dropbox enough? The state Democratic party says no. It fears a slow down in mail delivery could block votes from being counted. And the party is suing the Secretary of State, trying to get more drop boxes for voters in place.
21 News talked with Trumbull County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Polivka, who believes more secure drop boxes would be helpful to voters even if it's an extra one or two outside each board of elections. Polivka said, "I am in support of that just to encourage people to vote to have more availability, more accessibility. I think there are a lot of positives to having more drop boxes."
Ohio's Secretary of State Frank LaRose says he would like that, too. However, the law says he can't. La Rose said, "I think it would be a great thing if we could if the state legislature were to authorize it, or a judges order. I would be happy to see more drop boxes in more places throughout the state. As long as it had the bipartisan support of those boards of elections, and as long as those drop boxes were secure and under video surveillance."
LaRose added, "Ohioans have been mailing absentee ballots for almost 20 years. They have four weeks of absentee voting to avoid lines, 28 days of early voting and they can vote in person on election day."
LaRose doesn't believe there will be long lines unless people wait until the last minute to drop off their ballot or wait to put it in the mail. After people vote, they can track their mail-in ballot. LaRose encourages people to go to voteohio.gov to make sure their board of election has received their ballot by going to the section called Track My Ballot.