CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The secretary of state for Ohio issued an order on Monday that will allow counties to establish numerous ballot dropboxes, as long as the collections occur at the same site.
According to Secretary of State Frank LaRose, each of Ohio’s 88 county board of elections are permitted to install more than one dropbox or drive-through location for the return of absentee ballots at the board’s headquarters.
The board of elections can staff bipartisan officials at each collection box while absentee ballots are accepted.
Absentee ballots will be accepted 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the secure receptacles outside of the board of elections headquarters, as required under LaRose’s directives.
“Tomorrow, absentee ballots will begin being mailed out to over 2 million Ohioans who requested them and voting starts at 88 early voting locations across the state in what will be the most accessible election in state history,” said LaRose. “Despite predictable partisan politics that attempt to create phony crises, we have kept our eye on the ball and Ohio’s election officials are ready to administer a safe, secure, and accurate election.”
This decision may very well be the one that carries into the election but it will not be the final word on the matter according to local attorney, Rob Zimmerman, who is an election law specialist.
“The Secretary of State is right to the extent that there is the necessity for clarification of the law about this question, about the number of boxes and the locations and that should be cleared up after the election,” Zimmerman said,"But until, we’re going to have a certain level of uncertainty until we get some finality from the courts."
Zimmerman who is also a Shaker Heights Councilman says a key decision was made last week in Franklin County Court but there is a pending decision in federal court that will weigh heavily on what happens moving forward.
The Secretary of State reminded the voting public that mail-in method of returning absentee ballots and in-person voting are also a options before or on Election Day.