Sept 11, 2020
David Pepper, Chair Ohio Democratic Party (ODP)
Ohio Democrats take pride in always protecting voting rights. Several months ago, our close review of Ohio law made it clear to us that the Secretary of State was actually in violation of Ohio statute by rejecting electronic or online applications for absentee ballots (something many other states allow). So we went to court.
Late this afternoon, the court agreed with us, granting us a preliminary injunction to allow voters to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot electronically.
This is a big win for Ohio voters, providing a fast, easy and modern way for voters to request an absentee ballot. We are pleased the court agreed with our argument that not only does Ohio law permit voters to request absentee ballots electronically, but that the Secretary of State’s policy rejecting such applications violated Ohio law.
It looks like Secretary of State Frank LaRose (who for two years has claimed he supports online applications but, incorrectly, that Ohio did not allow them), will appeal the decision. Disappointing to say the least.
We will keep up this fight, and the others we are waging, to support Ohioans’ voter rights.
Keeping up the fight is part of the American tradition, something that is especially poignant today, the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The memory of that horrific day is seared into my mind, but I can’t forget the moments of hope and unity that came in the days that followed.
It’s impossible not to compare that moment with the crisis we’re facing now.
“Now, as then, our heroes are ordinary people doing extraordinary things: nurses and doctors; delivery drivers and grocery clerks; public transit workers and educators; regular Americans thrust into courageous acts of sacrifice and service. Now, as then, we owe it to them to come together as a nation — so that Americans can once again do what we did so bravely nineteen years ago: turn from tragedy to purpose, rebuild our lives, and begin, in time, to heal.”
It is my deepest hope that America can truly come together as a nation, to fight the coronavirus threat, to deal with an unprecedented economic crisis and to push back against a rising tide of hatred and divisiveness.
This election is about the future of our nation. It is so important, and we must do everything we can to ensure maximum participation.