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Appeals Court Rules Secretary Of State Does Not Have To Allow Electronic Absentee Ballot Requests

Dan Konik

An appeals court has ruled Secretary of State Frank LaRose does not have to allow online absentee ballot requests for Ohioans who want to vote by mail. 

A Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge had said LaRose had to allow electronic requests as the Ohio Democratic Party wanted. Chair David Pepper says while the appeals courtdidn’t require LaRose to accept electronic requests, it didn’t bar him from doing that if he wants. 

“There’s nothing in Ohio law that prohibits him from doing this. He could go ahead and do it if he wanted to," Pepper says.

LaRose spokesperson Maggie Sheehan saysthe court unanimously agreed cybersecurity concerns were “too great to abandon Ohio’s safe and accessible system this close to the election.” Pepper says he is considering an appeal. 

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.