Ohio’s D.C. Democrats pressure state leaders to pay for postage

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 4:35 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The Democratic members of Ohio’s congressional delegation put pressure on state leaders, in an attempt to make sure voting doesn’t cost you a penny.

In a public letter to Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R-Ohio), the lawmakers argue forcing voters to pay postage on mail-in ballots is functionally unconstitutional, comparing it to a poll tax.

LaRose has requested that the legislature and controlling board sign off on covering the cost. But, Brown and his colleague argue the Secretary of State can move ahead without approval and could pay the postage out of his office’s operating budget.

“There’s no reason for me to think we can’t run an honest fair election, with a lot of mail-in ballots, a lot of absentee voting,” said Brown. “It’s an important thing for our democracy, we’ve never had an election like this... the secretary of state has got to do extraordinary things.”

The Democratic lawmakers also called on Secretary LaRose to:

- increase the number of ballot drop-boxes

- get commitments from the postal service that ballots will be processed and shipped with the highest

- and lean on the state’s attorney general to join a lawsuit challenging USPS resource cuts

Spokespeople for the secretary of state did not make LaRose or anyone else from his office available for an interview Thursday. They said they will provide his letter in response to the lawmakers once it’s sent.

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