Calls for 'common sense' vote-by-mail procedures

Staff Writer
Kent Weeklies

believe that every citizen should vote. It is a right and a responsibility. This past election, the COVID-19 virus forced Ohioans to vote by mail, under the absentee ballot procedure. The three-step process of requesting a ballot, receiving a ballot, and returning a completed ballot, all by mail, and within a few weeks, was cumbersome and time-consuming.

With nothing certain about what the virus will look like in the fall, Ohio must enact a vote by mail system that makes sense. Boards of election maintain the rolls of registered voters. The Ohio legislature must provide that all registered voters receive a ballot. At the least, voters should be able to request their ballot on-line, to avoid having to mail in a ballot application. SB 191, currently sitting in the Ohio Senate Government Oversight Committee, would address this simple fix.

But more must be done and there is no time to waste. The general election is just five months away. Common sense procedures need to be enacted. These include: Requiring an early ballot application deadline, providing every registered voter a postage prepaid ballot, and locating drop boxes in areas around each county so that voters have the option to turn in their ballot rather than mail it. These measures are the least the Ohio legislature can do to ensure a safe election process that all Ohio voters can participate in.

Kathy Gerrard, Hudson