COLUMBUS— State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and House Democrats Tuesday sent a letter to Secretary of State Frank LaRose addressing recent major developments in Ohio’s elections. Ohioans watched last week as Post Office mailboxes and processing machinery were dismantled and removed in Ohio and across the country. Following national outcry over potential election interference, USPS has said they would halt additional reorganization changes until after the November election, but it is still unclear whether the reductions in service and processing will be undone.


Amid the USPS controversy, Secretary LaRose held a press conference to announce he was prohibiting all counties, no matter their size and population, from having more than one secure ballot drop box. He also said he would not require masks in polling places and recently ordered Boards of Elections to send voter purge mailings to 119,000 Ohioans just one month before the start of Early Voting.


“Secretary LaRose’s stewardship of democracy in Ohio has been a complete and utter failure. Instead of accepting responsibility for ensuring that Ohioans can safely and securely exercise their right to vote during the COVID-19 crisis, he has repeatedly shirked his duty and blamed others for his shortcomings. The latest example is his refusal to allow Boards of Elections to place secure dropboxes in multiple locations in each county. This practice is not unprecedented. The five universal vote-by-mail states, including Colorado, which has been rated the most secure state in the nation to cast a ballot, have multiple drop boxes per county. Other states, including Georgia, which is not known for making voting easier, have authorized the use of multiple drop boxes. 


Secretary LaRose— I am pleading with you to stop making excuses and hiding behind non-existent prohibitions. It is your duty, it is your obligation, to protect the people of Ohio as they cast their ballots in the upcoming election. Allowing county BOEs to utilize multiple drop boxes would represent a major step toward accomplishing that critically important goal,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan.


The members raised their concerns with these alarming choices and demanded that Secretary LaRose do everything in his power for voters in these unprecedented times. The caucus provided him a 16-point checklist of what they would like to see from his office including:



  • Multiple secure drop boxes

  • Paying return postage

  • Keeping all polling locations open

  • Online absentee ballot application

 

Related Content

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Rep. Lepore-Hagan Announces Open Application Period For BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant Program

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) announced Ohio schools may begin applying for the new BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant beginning today, Monday, August 10. A total of $50 million will be allocated to expand high-speed internet access for Ohio students utilizing remote learning during the COVID crisis by providing hotspots and internet-enabled devices to students.



 
 

Democrats Again Demand LaRose Take Action, Pay Return Postage

 

State Representatives Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Catherine D. Ingram (D-Cincinnati) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Frank LaRose again urging him to include return postage on absentee ballot application forms and the absentee ballots themselves. State law prohibits boards of elections, but not the secretary, from paying return postage. COVID-19 cases have risen sharply in Ohio since the foursome last urged LaRose to take this step to encourage mail voting on June 18.



 
 

Rep. Lepore-Hagan Announces $500,000 In Funding For Youngstown Youth Recovery Services

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced $500,000.00 in state dollars to Alta Care Group, Inc. and the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board in Youngstown.



 
 

Rep. Lepore-Hagan Announces $300 Million To Help Colleges, Universities, And K-12 Schools Prepare For Fall Semester Amid COVID-19

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) announced Monday the state Controlling Board approved another round of federal funding to support Ohio’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, including $300 million in federal funding to offset Ohio’s K-12 schools and colleges and university’s costs of keeping students and staff safe in the fall.