Ohio Voter Rights Coalition Statement on LaRose’s decision to allow multiple drop boxes at the county Board of Elections
In a Directive issued today, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said multiple drop boxes would be allowed for voters to return absentee applications and ballots — but only at the Boards of Elections (BOEs). No off-site drop boxes will be allowed.
This decision ignores the concerns of Ohio voters looking for a safe and convenient way to drop off their absentee applications and ballots. It also plainly ignores the concerns of Judge Polster, who heard a federal legal challenge to Sec. LaRose’s earlier Directive limiting drop boxes. This challenge specifically named the inaccessibility of drop boxes being only located at county Board of Elections as a major and central concern. Having two or more drop boxes at the same location does nothing to help voters who live a distance from the board of elections in their county. It does nothing to help prevent congestion and traffic back ups at busy BOEs. It does nothing to help voters who are concerned with using the United States Postal Service to return ballot applications and ballots.
We urge Sec. LaRose to rescind this Directive and to allow county Boards of Elections to install additional drop boxes wherever they think makes most sense for their own communities to ensure that this election is safe and accessible for all Ohio’s voters.