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Franklin County Court Rules All Ohioans Should Be Able To Request Absentee Ballots Online

Statehouse News Bureau

A Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge has ruledOhioans can apply for absentee mail-in ballots online. 

Ohioans who want to vote by mail must fill out a paper application then send or hand deliver it to their local board of elections. The Ohio Democratic Party’s David Pepper says the suit he filed contended Secretary of State Frank LaRose could allow all Ohioans to file for a ballot electronically just like Ohioans who vote from overseas can. 

“Why should someone be able to send it from Russia and not Russia Ohio?," Pepper asks.

Attorneys for LaRose argued that switching to online applications now could cause problems with the November election. LaRose willappealthe ruling.

LaRose has issued a statement:

Attributable to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose:

"Today’s ruling rolls out the red carpet to Russian hackers – painting a giant bullseye on the back of our election system and upending the significant progress Ohio has made on elections cybersecurity. It injects chaos into what was already a challenging election for our county boards of elections, and we are confident that a higher court will correct this quickly."

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.