COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Controlling Board Monday denied a request that would have allowed the Secretary of State to provide prepaid return postage for absentee ballots.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose told the board he has the ability to include postage with absentee ballots. No law says the Secretary of State can’t provide it, only that county boards can’t. He said all he needed was permission from the Controlling Board to spend the money.
LaRose asked for permission to spend $3 million from another fund his office controls.
There were four votes against the proposal, meaning LaRose will not be able to pay for return postage. LaRose issued the following statement on the vote:
Ohio has a sound elections system, but today was another missed opportunity by the legislature to make a small change, without an impact on our state budget, that would yield a big improvement. Ohio voters have 216 hours to vote early in person from October 6 through November 2, 13 hours to vote on Election Day, or they can request an absentee ballot by mail and it will be sent to them beginning October 6. Make a plan. Don’t procrastinate. Make sure your voice is heard.Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State
Controlling Board member Rep. Scott Oelslager says he’s hesitant to make any changes this close to the election. He also says the people of the state of Ohio have plenty of options for voting. A similar argument was made by Rep. Shane Wilkin.
The Controlling Board is a seven-member panel that controls adjustments to the state budget.