The COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the March 17 Primary fiasco, should raise concern among all Ohioans. This election was neither safe, secure nor fair. The public’s fundamental trust in our most basic democratic process must be maintained This won’t happen unless the state legislature makes a few simple changes to our election to insure that all eligible voters who wish to vote can do so safely and securely.
The Ohio Secretary of State, Republican Frank LaRose, has proposed several changes which should have bipartisan support. Since 2008, anyone who wishes to, may request an absentee ballot. Many discovered in March, however, that it is not an easy process. Secretary LaRose would like to make it possible for a voter to request an absentee ballot online and he would also like to send out postage paid absentee ballots to those who request them.
The League of Women Voters supports these measures and in addition, proposes that the number of early voting sites be expanded. These changes would solve another issue which arose in the March Primary, a lack of poll workers. It would also allow those who prefer to vote in person, to choose the time and location most convenient and safe for them. Early voting has become popular and now one third of Ohioans vote early.
The legislature must act soon, for time to implement these changes. The threat to the 2020 Presidential election is real. We have no idea what the pandemic situation will be in November, but we must make preparations now to make sure everyone feels safe and everyone who wishes to vote can do so. You can help by contacting your state legislators and urge them to take action now.
Karin Swedenborg, Hudson