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Ohio Lawmakers Deny Request For Pre-Paid Postage On Absentee Ballots

Applications for voter ballots are seen at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak
/
Associated Press
Applications for voter ballots are seen at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Cleveland.

A panel of lawmakers has shot down a request by Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State that would have allowed his office to pay for postage for mail-in ballots.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose wanted approval from the Ohio Controlling Board to take $3 million dollars from a fund his office controls for postage for mail-in ballots.

“It incentivizes getting the ballots back quickly," LaRose argues. "It doesn’t have any impact in a partisan way. It doesn’t benefit the Republicans. It doesn’t benefit the Democrats. What it does is benefit voters as an added convenience and it benefits our boards of elections by getting those ballots back in the mail very quickly."

Some of the seven board members were concerned about making this change so close to the election, and pointed out Ohioans have more than one way to vote. The Republican members also insisted that the proposal was something that should be considered by the full legislature.

The vote against LaRose's proposal was 4-2, with all Republicans voting against and both Democrats voting in favor.

Early, in-person voting at local boards of elections begins October 6.