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Local voting rights group criticizes Ohio bill that some lawmakers say secures elections

VOTING
Posted at 5:20 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 19:15:19-04

CLEVELAND — In a November 2020 interview, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose told News 5, “whether your favorite candidate won or lost, Ohioans can trust that this result was accurate and honest.”

Now in 2021, Ohio State Rep. Sharon Ray of Wadsworth is cosponsoring House Bill 294.

Some lawmakers say the bill will secure Ohio’s elections even further, but Kayla Griffin of ‘All Voting Is Local’ disagrees.

“There’s some things in there [the bill] that we have been advocating for, for a long time,” said Griffin. “But there are a lot of things in there that are awfully problematic and could be a harm to voters here in Ohio."

While the bill enacts measures like an online ballot portal; something Griffin partially supports, it could also limit drop box usage and shorten the deadline for an absentee ballot application.

“If we had an amazing turnout and a great audit, why are we making changes that would impede the vote, particularly the early vote for Black and brown communities?” said Griffin.

News 5 reached out to both Larose and Ray for an interview about HB 294, neither of them were available to comment.

Griffin says this bill should focus on expanding voter access and drop box locations across Cuyahoga county.

"What sense does it make to have three boxes in one location, as opposed to having multiple boxes across the county?" Griffin said. “Make sure people in Solon and people that are in the far end of Westlake are able to get to the drop boxes as well.”

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