Ohio Democratic County Chairs AssociationJanet Carson, President
Members of the Ohio Legislature,
In a follow-up to our letter yesterday and in response to the release of Senate Bill 294 regarding the resumption of the 2020 Primary Election, the Ohio Democratic County Chairs Association would like to offer you the following feedback and allow our stance to be known during this process.
1.) We appreciate the ability for the County Boards of Elections to officially receive and count the ballots that were received after the original deadline, therefore eliminating some voter confusion surrounding whether or not their ballot has been counted. We support that this provision be left within the bill.
2.) We advocate that the provision in the bill directing the Ohio Secretary of State to issue an informational postcard to all voters be replaced with a provision of sending absentee applications to all voters that have not yet cast a ballot in the 2020 Primary Election. We would further advocate for this to be done in a way that postage is paid for the voter to submit their application back in the mail at no cost to them, avoiding any inadvertent poll tax in this Election. This would further take the burden of the costs off the County Boards of Elections as well as the manpower demand, while many Boards of Elections are either closed or operating under smaller staffing models during this pandemic.
3.) We advocate that a provision be placed within your bill allowing all Boards of Elections to take any necessary steps to use the ballots that have already been produced for the 2020 Primary Election. Forcing the production of ballots indicating the new Primary Election date, which has tentatively been set for April 28th, 2020 in your proposal will waste much-needed time for development as well as cost for the production, while Boards all over the state have stockpiles to handle every single voter in their county already.
4.) We advocate for a provision to be placed in your bill appropriating monies at this time for the individual Boards of Elections for items such as, but not limited to: PPE Equipment for Staff members while receiving paperwork and ballots from voters either through USPS or in-person, added staffing levels and overtime for current staff while conducting this all vote-by-mail election, etc.
We really appreciate the work that you are doing to have a fair, open, and accessible continuation of a 2020 Primary Election and applaud many of the efforts that you have already taken in your introduced bill. We will continue to stay in contact with you as we move forward, and different items come to our attention. All of us remain open for questions and clarifications, as the majority of the members of our organization are also Members of their respective County Board of Elections.
President, Ohio Democratic County Chairs Association
Our Central and Executive Committee Meetings are cancelled and postponed – will resume when the Covid 19 crisis is over.
Reorganization of the county party cannot occur until after the election results are in.
I would hope that we can resume meetings and conduct reorganization in June or July.
Polls are closed by order of the director of the Ohio Department of Health. We will post updates as soon as we receive more information on alternatives.