Ohio Democrats File Lawsuit To Add More Ballot Drop Boxes

Aug 25, 2020

After weeks of pressuring the state to add more ballot drop boxes, the Ohio Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to allow county boards of elections to install more of them.

Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper said the goal of the lawsuit is to clarify whether the law limits each county to a single drop box at the board of elections. And he thinks it’s not too late to add more.

“My hope would be that we wouldn’t get caught in endless litigation. This is something that almost everyone is looking at agrees is simply pro-voter," Pepper said.

Pepper said counties could use federal pandemic relief funds to add more drop boxes, because they reduce crowds at polling places, allow people with health concerns to vote from home and help with stress on the postal system. Democrats and voting rights groups have pushed for ballot boxes in several states.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose had dropped his request for a legal opinion on the one per county drop box issue earlier this month, saying there wasn’t time to add more before early voting starts in October.

LaRose spokesperson Maggie Sheehan said in a statement: “Secretary LaRose has been and continues to be supportive of legislation that permits additional options for voters to return their absentee ballots. As an executive office holder, he must follow the law as the legislature writes it. His focus at this time remains on getting the Ohio Controlling Board to permit him to pay postage on absentee ballots, effectively making every blue mail box an absentee drop box.”