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Rep. Lightbody, House Dems slam GOP lawmakers for refusing to fund absentee ballot postage ahead of November election, urge Sec. LaRose to take action

September 16, 2020
Mary Lightbody News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) and House Democrats slammed GOP lawmakers on the Controlling Board Monday for refusing to approve funds to cover the cost of absentee ballot postage for Ohio voters ahead of the November election.

“In the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis, we should be focusing on increasing access to voting options for Ohioans. By refusing to approve these funds to cover the cost of absentee ballot postage, limitations to the constitutional right to vote are being created,” said Rep. Lightbody. “Every Ohioan should be able to have a safe, easy, and secure path to vote. Avenues to vote should be increasing, not decreased at every turn."

House Democrats have consistently called on Sec. LaRose to use existing funds to pay for postage if the legislature fails to address it. An earlier statement by Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) included a timeline of events concerning return postage and the Controlling Board.

While Republican members on the Controlling Board voted down the request for prepaid postage funding, lawmakers approved a number of other significant items Monday:

·         $2 million in previously allocated funds to the Development Services Agency for the Minority Business Enterprise Loan program;

·         $34.8 million to from the federal CARES Act to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to expand COVID-19 testing and other safety measures in prisons;

·         $36.8 million in previously allocated funds to the Bureau of Worker’ Compensation for the continued purchasing of face coverings for Ohio workers.