COLUMBUS- Today, Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), Assistant Minority Leader Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus), Minority Whip Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo), and Assistant Minority Whip Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester) sent a letter* to Speaker of the House Bob Cupp (R-Lima), asking him to assure Ohioans that their votes will be the final determinant of which candidate Ohio’s 18 electoral college votes will be allocated to, and that the legislature will not intervene to overturn the will of the voters.
“This should not be a Republican or Democratic issue, this is a question of protecting the voices of Ohioans and their choice for President,” they write. “It is unfortunate that we need to be having this discussion at all, but in these uncertain times, Ohioans deserve certainty from their Speaker in denouncing this fundamentally undemocratic plan, and committing to respecting the popular will of Ohioans expressed at the ballot box.”
Their letter comes as it has been publicly reported that the President’s reelection campaign has been planning on asking GOP-led legislatures in swing states to overturn their state’s popular vote and assign pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College regardless of the outcome of that state’s popular vote.
*Full text of the letter can be found below:
September 29, 2020
Speaker Bob Cupp
77 South High Street
14th Floor, Vern Riffe Center
Columbus, OH 43215
Dear Speaker Cupp,
We write to you today on the behalf of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus and the people of Ohio in asking for your commitment that the Ohio House will respect the will of the voters and assign electors to the Electoral College that represent the winner of our state’s popular vote. As we are sure you would agree, regardless of who ends up winning the presidential election in our state, the people’s voices should have the final say in allocating our state’s eighteen Electoral College votes.
On top of a raging pandemic, a looming economic recession, and record unemployment, our constituents should not have to worry about the threat of their votes being cast aside in a partisan game. Unfortunately, the recent news from the White House has incited fear and confusion in our constituents. Our members have been hearing directly from Ohioans who are asking us to give them certainty that their votes will count and that they will decide which candidate for president receives Ohio’s electors. We owe it to them to do so.
President Trump has refused to commit to the peaceful transition of power should he lose the presidential election. His campaign has reportedly set up a contingency plan to subvert the will of the voters and have the legislature assign pro-Trump electors regardless of the outcome of the vote. We believe that it is important for you to go on the record publicly and commit to respecting the votes of Ohioans when choosing electors, regardless of who wins our state. Further, we would ask that you clarify whether or not you have been approached by the campaign about this contingency plan to have the legislature back the President should former Vice President Biden win our state.
This should not be a Republican or Democratic issue, this is a question of protecting the voices of Ohioans and their choice for President. It is unfortunate that we need to be having this discussion at all, but in these uncertain times, Ohioans deserve certainty from their Speaker in denouncing this fundamentally undemocratic plan, and committing to respecting the popular will of Ohioans expressed at the ballot box.
We look forward to your response.