Ohio absentee ballot postage question will have to wait

Posted at 4:28 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 19:28:37-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The question of whether you will have to pay the postage if you vote by mail is still up in the air. The state’s controlling board which signs off on spending in between budgets did not add the request of Secretary of State Frank LaRose to their agenda Monday.

LaRose is asking the board to let him spend $3 million of the department’s money to pay for return postage on absentee ballots. The request though was made after the deadline passed to get in on the board’s August 24 agenda. LaRose last week said he planned to ask the board to add it and urged Ohio voters to contact their legislators to do the same.

"The ask is very simple,” LaRose said Thursday at the Ready for November Task Force meeting. “The ask is to talk to the Senate president and the house speaker and to ask them but our controlling board request on the agenda for Monday and to approve it."

In addition, Senator Sherrod Brown and three of his Democratic Congressional colleagues sent a letter to the controlling board asking them to do the same.

The Secretary of State’s office told News 5 the board contacted them to say the matter would not be considered Monday because some of its legislative members didn’t feel there was enough time to do their due diligence on the request before the meeting.

LaRose’s office said they will file the paperwork to put it before the board at their next meeting, in three weeks on September 14, which is only three weeks before the ballots go out on October 6. Still, they believe that leaves enough time to get the return ballots printed.

The postage on a return ballot can vary but in the 2018 midterm in Ohio ran 71 cents.