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Why Is Making Voting Easier So Hard?

In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo, a voter casts their ballot on the first day of early voting at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo
Associated Press
In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo, a voter casts their ballot on the first day of early voting at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the various efforts to make voting easier in Ohio and the persistant roadblocks getting in the way. Jen Miller, director of the Ohio League of Women Voters, 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:
Mail Drop

Controversies and lawsuits continue over how we vote in Ohio.

This week, a Franklin County judge ruled that voters can send in their applications to vote by mail through e-mail or fax, but Secretary of State Frank LaRose appealed that ruling, saying he feared that Russian hackers would take advantage of the option to infiltrate election systems.

Democrats and voting rights groups also want the state to pay for postage on the envelopes to return your mail-in ballots, which could cost up to $3 million. LaRose asked a panel of legislators called the Controlling Board to approve spending the money. After a last-minute change on the board, the Republican majority voted against it.

Then there’s the issue of drop boxes, the special secure locations where you can just drop off your absentee ballot instead of sending it through the mail. LaRose ordered only one per county, but Democrats and voting rights advocates want more. A judge in Columbus ruled counties can install more than one, but LaRose is appealing that ruling.

Political Football

The Big Ten will be back next month with college football. It’s good news for Buckeye football fans, and for President Trump, who’s taking credit for the conference reversing course on its decision to cancel fall football.

Gov. Mike DeWine, former Dayton Flyer defensive back and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and a lot of other people are cheering the move, but some medical professionals not so sure. Ohio State football team doctor Jim Borchers, who chaired the Big Ten medical subcommmittee, seems confident in the ability to test athletes.

Snollygoster Of The Week: Ohio Senate President Larry Obhoff

Senate President Larry Obhoff does not like the idea of the state paying for postage on mail-in ballots. So, he pulled a member who favors the idea from Controlling Board and replaced him with someone who has fought against pre-paid postage for ballots. The measure then, predictably, failed.

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.
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