Rep. Sykes Responds To Husted Directive On Ballot Postmark Issues
Akron lawmaker says state must do more to protect right to vote

State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today responded to Secretary of State Husted’s recent directive on how boards of election should treat absentee ballots with missing postmarks, describing it a as step in the right direction but calling for implementation of more comprehensive controls to prevent voter disenfranchisement.

 "We need a statewide, uniform appeals process that ensures our most fundamental freedom as Americans is not superseded by technical errors or illegible postmarks," said Sykes. "While I am pleased to see the secretary of state has listened my call to protect the right to vote in Summit County, we can and must do more to ensure postmarks do not continue to deter our democratic process and that every person's vote counts. I hope the state will review the effectiveness of this directive immediately following the March election." 

Husted’s directive comes after Summit County saw unusually high numbers of ballot rejections this past fall because of Ohio’s confusing law about postmarks. In a letter sent to Secretary Husted last week, Sykes proposed an expanded appeals process that would allow voters an opportunity to correct any postmark issue that arises with their ballot just as they are permitted to correct other ballot issues. Sykes called on Husted last November to investigate votes that were not counted due to postmarks.

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