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LaRose Defends Ohio's Mail-In Voting

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose marks National Registration Day at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019.
Julie Carr Smyth
Associated Press
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose marks National Registration Day at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the calls to re-open the state economy and the looming absentee ballot deadline. Ohio Secretery of State Frank LaRose joins the show.

Listen to Snollygoster on the WOSU Public Media mobile app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And make sure to leave a rating and review!

In this week's episode:
Getting Back To Normal

A small but vocal group of protesters are demonstrating at the Ohio Statehouse, demanding the end of stay-at-home orders. Some state lawmakers are also saying it’s time for Ohio to start to getting back to normal.

Gov. Mike DeWine says he will be guided by health experts, not politics, when it comes to reopening businesses. His administration is working with business leaders to come up with a plan on how to reopen businesses and schools shuttered by the pandemic.

On Thursday, DeWine said the state will begin the process of reopening business on May 1, when the current stay-at-home order ends, but it's not going to come all at once.

The Integrity Of Ohio's Elections

Since election day was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, registered voters who didn’t yet vote in the primary need to request an absentee ballot. Voters can download a ballot request form and print it, or call their local board of elections and have one sent, but time is short. Ballots must be requested by April 25, and postmarked by April 27, to be counted.

President Trump recently cast doubt on mail-in voting, calling it "corrupt." But Ohio Secretery of State Frank LaRose says the state's system is "secure."

Looking ahead to November, LaRose said his team is preparing contingency plans for that election if in-person voting is still too risky. He said Ohio is well-positioned to scale up for increased mail-in ballots.

Mugwump(s) Of The Week

Laurie and Kevin Hommema are the Columbus couple whose dinnertime conversation prompted Battelle to quickly develop a way to decontaminate hospital protection equipment so it can be reused. Kevin works at Battelle as an engineer and Laurie is a physician who now works at Ohio Health.

At dinner, Laurie mentioned they were running out of N-95 facemasks, and Kevin remembered a Battelle study that showed the masks could be sterilized for re-use. That conversation started the process of Battelle quickly developing a system to clean the masks and shipping it to hotspots around the country.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.
Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.