'Federal judge issues scathing decision to allow more ballot drop boxes in Ohio'
A federal judge on Thursday blocked an order from Ohio's secretary of state that would have required counties in the state to install ballot drop boxes just at the local election office, allowing additional drop boxes to be placed in areas that need them.
At issue was an order earlier this week from Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose that limited ballot drop boxes to one location per county: a county's election office. LaRose had been interpreting an Ohio law that states the only two ways to return an absentee ballot are to mail it or "personally deliver it to the director" as meaning that if a voter chooses to use a drop box, it must be at the County Board of Elections office, because that is still considered to be delivering the ballot directly to the director.
But federal Judge Dan Polster said LaRose's order puts a burden on more populous counties -- like Cuyahoga, which includes Cleveland -- and which he says has "a very serious looming problem" that could jeopardize the right to vote.
"While it may be said that the 7,903 registered voters in Noble County may find a single drop box location sufficient, the record demonstrates that the 858,041 registered voters in Cuyahoga County will likely not," Polster wrote in a scathing opinion.