Ohio House Democrats Call for Statewide Mail-In Voting, Eliminating Application for Absentee Ballot


Ohio House Democrats want to mail a ballot to every voter in the state and skip the “confusing application step,” according to an election proposal put forward Friday.

“Our members have worked intensely over the last several months pushing for improvements in the primary election and now proposing needed fixes to ensure a fall election that goes much more smoothly than the primary,” House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) (pictured above) said in a statement.

“I am proud of the work they’ve done to provide for a safe and accessible election. No one should have to choose between their fundamental right to vote and their health and safety. We can and must protect both,” she added.

Democrats said their proposal for the November general election was created by a House working group and will be introduced as a bill.

The plan calls for sending a mail-in ballot to every registered voter in the state with return postage prepaid. The Democratic proposal wants to get rid of the “confusing application step” for mail-in voting that “caused delays and deprived people of their voting rights in the primary.”

Alternatively, if ballot applications continue to be required for mail-in voting, Democrats would like to send an application to every registered voter and allow voters to apply online.

“During this pandemic we have a duty to protect Ohioans’ rights. We can protect people’s health and their liberty. It is not either/or. We have put together a proposal that balances trusted voting methods for all Ohio voters. By expanding and improving absentee mail voting, we will help people stay safe when they vote while also taking pressure off the in-person polling places that many people still rely on,” said Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo).

The proposal further calls for accepting ballots that are postmarked by Election Day. Current law requires absentee ballots to be postmarked by the day before the election, which is a “source of great confusion and misinformation,” according to House Democrats.

Another measure would allow counties to set up “multiple secure drop-boxes” in the community for voters to “drop off their mail ballots in person.”

“Allow voters to have a trusted helper deliver their ballots to their boards of election. Current law only permits certain family members to return ballots for someone but excludes grandchildren, cousins, roommates, and friends of the voter’s choosing,” the proposal continues.

The proposal concludes by calling on Secretary of State Frank LaRose to reinstate voters who have been purged from Ohio’s voter rolls if they still live in the state, implement automatic voter registration, and create an online portal for requesting absentee ballots.

“Ohioans cannot afford a repeat of the chaos and uncertainty that surrounded the March 17 election and the unconstitutional attempt to move it to June 2 with only minimal voter outreach,” said Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland). “This plan ensures that election workers will have clear and definitive directions as well as ample time and resources to prepare for the general election in November. We must act now to preserve Ohioans’ right to vote in the face of a global pandemic. Elections are too important not to have bipartisan input and decisive action”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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12 Thoughts to “Ohio House Democrats Call for Statewide Mail-In Voting, Eliminating Application for Absentee Ballot”

  1. Lynn

    Call or email your local Ohio representative. Be polite but be FIRM on your stance against on Ohio sending ballots to all registered voters. It you want to vote absentee in Ohio it is not difficult to request an absentee ballot if you are a registered voter and it is NOT difficult to fill out and return.

    Democrats keep calling for mail in votes AND same day registration. How do they propose to do that? Why, if a person is capable of registering to vote, are they incapable of requesting an absentee ballot?
    If Democrats want to change the way Ohio votes then they need to put the issue on the ballot, let the voters decide.

  2. Deborah

    No! It’s just another move for the Democrats to try and steal the election.

  3. Judy R.

    Definitely NO on mail-in voting!!!! Each voter must show picture ID, address, and sign in before voting.
    Picture ID has ALWAYS been used for airlines, BMV,
    bank deposits and withdrawals, speeding tickets, etc. If we allow the unreliable mail delivery to predict our future President, we’re in trouble!! Last election, nearly a huge percentage of the military votes were not counted because their mail-in ballots never arrived until WEEKS after the election.
    After counting them, nearly 90% were for then Donal Trump! No matter which side you’re on, MAIL-IN VOTING should not be the standard. Only for some who cannot physically get out or will be out of town during election.

  4. Samuel Hurst

    I say put it up for vote in November !otherwise I say HELL NO!

  5. Quentin Robinson

    Mail in balloting in not necessary, nor is it wanted. Of course the Democratic Party wants …what better way to steal an election . Put an end to this tyrannical plot.

  6. Carmen Denham

    No to mail in vote ballots. No no no no

  7. Dawn Dixon

    Our primary was a debacle and many votes were not counted. The people were not given a choice in the matter. It was fine to shop but not vote. We know this was the agenda the whole time and you have no right to steal this election. We put up with your fake pandemic and government overreach that our state put us thru for a pack of lies. Our kids and grandkids will be paying for this mess for years. Forcing us and our children to wear masks, making the healthy sick, enough! Please have the decency to give us our voting booth back in November!

  8. Erin K Martin

    NO!!!! You’re doing a bang up job destroying what little was left of the state and that’s bad enough, now this!!!!

  9. Dorothy Baisden

    I want to vote at the polls. Need to show ID and prove your address!

  10. Gina Marchand


  11. Willard

    F#ck all Democrats… not gonna steal the election..

  12. John S

    So you can have Big Box retail open but not voting? This is the typical liberal socialist agenda for voting. I’m voting in person by God and by Gun!