© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Ohio's Absentee Ballot Signature-Matching Process

Pention workers for the nuclear power plant bailout are collecting signatures throughout Ohio.
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed a lawsuit against Ohio’s Secretary of State over the way county election boards handle signatures on absentee ballots and applications.

ACLU of Ohio legal director Freda Levenson said the organization is suing over two things.

“Number one, that there be more time to cure absentee ballots, and number two, that there be better notice to cure absentee ballot applications," Levenson said.

Levenson explained county boards should call or email the voter right away to fix the problem. She said often times, valid signatures might look different because the voter is in a different situation when signing or the voter’s penmanship has eroded over time.

"Given the certainty that mail-in voting in the upcoming General Election will be significantly higher than in past general elections because of the COVID-19 pandemic, without judicial intervention now, these constitutional violations threaten to disenfranchise tens of thousands of Ohio voters," the lawsuit argues.

A statement from Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office calls this a solution in search of a problem. The statement says it would obliterate safeguards on secure, no-fault absentee voting and would open the floodgates for potential voter fraud.