FRANK LAROSE IS GOING BACK ON HIS WORD
“Ken Blackwell Must Be Proud of His Protégé”
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairman David Pepper on Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s new directive on dropboxes:
“Frank LaRose pledged publicly that he would allow expanded dropbox locations if he were allowed under Ohio law. We proved our case, and he lost, showing that dropboxes are permitted in multiple locations in Ohio counties. Now he’s going back on his word with a transparent, cynical ploy. Ken Blackwell must be proud of his protégé; Frank’s actions today are right in line with Blackwell’s relentless attacks on voting that caused chaos during the 2004 election.”
In LaRose’s directive issued today to county boards of elections, he fails to mention that the appellate court held that state law permits him to authorize more dropboxes at other locations beyond a board of elections office.
From the appellate court’s opinion:
From paragraph 1: “We agree with the trial court that the Secretary’s interpretation of R.C. 3509.05 is not reasonable and that the statute neither prescribes nor prohibits ballot drop boxes at locations other than the boards of elections.”
From paragraph 1: “If, as appellees argue, the Secretary wants to permit additional drop boxes, he has the authority to do so and nothing in this decision prohibits him from rescinding Directive 2020-16 and issuing a new directive accordingly.”
From paragraph 31: “Thus, we find the Secretary of State’s interpretation of R.C. 3509.05(A) to be unreasonable, and it is therefore not entitled to deference. Instead, we agree with appellees and the trial court that R.C. 3509.05(A) does not limit the number or locations of drop boxes that a board of elections may provide. We further agree with appellees and the trial court that R.C. 3509.05(A) does not limit the Secretary of State from instructing boards of elections that they may have multiple drop boxes at alternate locations in their respective counties.”
From paragraph 46: “If the Secretary wants to permit additional drop boxes as allowed by statute, he has the authority to do so, and nothing in this decision prohibits him from rescinding Directive 2020-16 and issuing a new directive.”
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