Rep. Hicks-Hudson Requests Daily Election Briefings To Legislature From Sec. LaRose
Lawmaker says transparency between branches of government is vital as we near Election Day
Posted October 15, 2020 by Minority Caucus
 
 

COLUMBUS— State Representative Paula Hicks-Hudson (D - Toledo) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Frank LaRose today asking for daily updates on any ongoing election problems in the state of Ohio, including the delay in mailing absentee ballots that impacted roughly 67,000 Lucas County voters.


Said Rep. Hicks-Hudson:


“On behalf of our caucus, I kindly request that your office provide the legislature with a daily briefing on reported problems with this election and what your office is doing to address anything that arises. As we enter unchartered waters surrounding this historic election, we do not know what quick and decisive action will be required of the legislative and executive branches; we need to all be working together right now to stay informed and remain agile enough to respond appropriately when, and if, the time comes.”


See the entire letter below:


October 15, 2020


Dear Secretary LaRose,


My office is in receipt of two newsletters sent recently by your office. These messages purported to give us lawmakers and our staff important information that we “need to know” but bear little resemblance to the news headlines about problems taking place in our election around the state. I believe there is a lot more that we “need to know” and I request that you be more forthcoming and transparent as we enter the final days leading up to Election Day and in the possibly tumultuous days expected to follow. 


Several concerning news headlines have grabbed my attention in recent days: Franklin County is mailing replacement ballots to nearly 50,000 voters after equipment mess-up; the mailing of ballots in Summit County has been delayed as a private vendor deals with high demand; some Muskingum County absentee ballots were sent with the return envelope addressed to the wrong board of elections; and in my home Lucas County, tens of thousands of people are unsure if absentee ballots have even been mailed at all. 


Many of us feel we are in the dark. As the State’s Chief Election Officer, I know you are aware of the problems I mentioned above and probably many more. I know you are also aware of the long lines that wrap around the single voting locations in our large counties as we are seeing an unprecedented level of enthusiasm for early voting. It is obvious that the public is paying attention and far more engaged in this election than in previous elections. As a result, I believe our constituents deserve more accurate and timely information from our Secretary of State.


We legislators can help with this public outreach. Furthermore, as lawmakers and a co-equal branch of government, I believe we deserve meaningful updates that do not sugarcoat the truth. On behalf of our caucus, I kindly request that your office provide the legislature with a daily briefing on reported problems with this election and what your office is doing to address anything that arises. As we enter unchartered waters surrounding this historic election, we do not know what quick and decisive action will be required of the legislative and executive branches; we need to all be working together right now to stay informed and remain agile enough to respond appropriately when, and if, the time comes.


I welcome the opportunity to speak to you on this request. Please reach out to my legislative aide Kane Murray at kane.murray@ohiohouse.gov  to request a time this week when we can talk.  I look forward to working with you to help provide a safe and accessible election for all Ohioans.


Sincerely,


 


Paula Hicks-Hudson


State Representative, District 44


Chair, House Democratic Caucus COVID-19 Elections Working Group 

 
 
 
  
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