LaRose rebuffs request for more than one ballot box in Hamilton County

Hamilton County commissioners call for more ballot drop boxes

NORWOOD, Ohio (FOX19) - Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus says there aren’t enough places for voters to drop off their ballots ahead of the 2020 general election.

The complaint comes as Hamilton County residents, together with voters around the country, face an election in which an unprecedented number of voters will vote absentee, whether by mailing in their ballots or dropping them in a county drop box.

A drop box currently sits at Hamilton County’s Board of Elections awaiting ballots.

Driehaus says having just one for the entire county isn’t sufficient.

“We passed a motion simply asking Frank LaRose, the secretary of state, to allow us in Hamilton County to have more than one drop box,” she said Friday.

The commissioner was one of several in a group that conducted an experiment Friday afternoon to determine how long it takes to get to the BOE’s drop box in Norwood from various neighborhoods.

By Metro bus, Driehaus says it took an hour to get to Norwood from Northside. The two locations are roughly six miles apart.

“We want to provide access to voting in Hamilton County, and people are worried about going to the polls in person,” Driehaus said. “They’re worried about mail-in voting now.”

Driehaus refers to recent efforts by U.S. Postmaster General Louise DeJoy to reduce the post office’s throughput prior to the election, slowing delivery times and casting doubt in the minds of many voters about the viability of mailing their ballots.

DeJoy is a substantial donor to President Trump, who has admitted an animosity against the post office that has its roots in voter turnout.

DeJoy said Friday in congressional testimony he has no plans to restore mailboxes and other agency cuts made since he took over in June.

LaRose responded to Driehaus Friday, though in doing so he failed to reach her central concern.

“The best solution is if the legislature authorizes me to do this, and we put a postage-paid envelope in the hands of every absentee voter in Ohio, then every mailbox in the state becomes a ballot drop box,” he said.

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