The following Letter to the Editor from member Melanie Farkas was published in the Delaware Gazette on July 16, 2020.
While Ohio’s Secretary of State, Frank LaRose highlights the need to vote, utilizing in-person early voting, absentee voting or voting in person on Election Day (“LaRose: Time to recommit to active citizenship,” July 9, 2020), he ignores the attacks on our right to vote by his own party.
House Bill 680, introduced by Rep. Cindy Abrams (R-District 29), passed the Ohio House and is now in the hands of the Senate. It is very clearly aimed at suppressing votes by:
- Eliminating in-person early voting on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before Election Day.
- Prohibiting a state official from causing an election to be conducted at any other time than prescribed by Ohio Revised Code. (For example, because of a pandemic)
- Shortening the deadline for a board of elections to receive absentee ballot requests by mail by four days — from the Saturday before an election to the Tuesday before.
These tactics, along with defending Ohio’s severely gerrymandered districts, are being used across the country to target marginalized communities and those without access to transportation or technology. In addition, it ignores the looming threat of COVID-19 that could cause similar issues as it did in Ohio’s primary and in many other states.
We must stand up to the attacks on our fight to vote. We must continue to work together to make our election safe, accessible and secure.
To ensure their vote will be counted, voters should request their absentee ballot now, which would then be mailed to them in October, at vote.delawarecountyohio.gov.