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Good Government Groups Push for Voting Reforms

Ohio is looking at consolidating polling places, but voting-rights groups want to make sure the new vote centers are convenient and allow for social distancing. (MargJohnsonVA/Morguefile)
Ohio is looking at consolidating polling places, but voting-rights groups want to make sure the new vote centers are convenient and allow for social distancing. (MargJohnsonVA/Morguefile)
May 14, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio Voter Rights Coalition is pressing for a number of voting reforms to make voting safer and more convenient in the November election and beyond.

The group supports Senate Bill 191, which would make it possible to order an absentee ballot online.

Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters Ohio, says the state also should mail out an absentee ballot application to all voters.

"This two-fold approach of online requests plus sending applications out to everyone with prepaid postage is far more equitable for all," she states.

The group also is calling on the secretary of state to allow people to sign up to permanently receive absentee ballots, without an excuse.

The League of Women Voters also supports the next coronavirus stimulus bill from the House of Representatives, which would put billions of dollars toward vote-by-mail and other election reforms.

Camille Wimbish, election administration director at Ohio Voice, says counties should be given the flexibility to have more than one secure vote drop box where people can drop off their ballots.

"We'd like to see multiple secure drop box locations," she states. "So it's a real convenience for people to be able to see their ballot, go to a safe spot, and know it's going to be counted."

The group also is asking the secretary of state to move the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot to at least a week before the election.

Currently people have until the Saturday before the election to ask for an absentee ballot, which leaves almost no time for them to receive it and get it postmarked by Election Day.

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - OH