SOS Decides No Off-Site Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued a directive Monday saying that county board of elections officials could vote to have more than one drop box per county, but the additional drop boxes would have to be located at the board of elections.

LaRose’s directive means voters will still have to go to their county board of elections to deposit their absentee ballot in a drop box if they don’t want to mail it back.

Democrats and voting rights groups argue that distrust in the postal service and concerns about COVID at the polls would lead more Ohioans to drop off their absentee ballot rather than to mail them or vote in person.

On Friday a panel of judges from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that LaRose could allow counties to have multiple drop boxes throughout their county.

For months, his main contention was that he didn’t have the legal authority to allow multiple drop boxes, but was in favor of the idea.

The Ohio Democratic Party and voting rights groups had filed lawsuits on the state and federal level to allow multiple drop boxes per county.

LaRose’s directive also allows boards of election to station bipartisan elections officials outside the building to collect absentee ballots.

The Hancock County Board of Elections has a drop box outside its building at 201 East Lincoln Street in Findlay.