COLUMBUS – 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.
“Republicans have repeatedly made it clear that they are not interested in making this general election as accessible as possible during a pandemic,” said House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “But as Democrats have continued to point out, the Secretary of State does not need additional legislative approval to make this happen. We urge Sec. LaRose to use existing federal funds to ensure Ohioans have access to absentee ballots this fall.”
House Democrats have consistently called on Sec. LaRose to use existing funds to pay for postage if the legislature fails to address it.
While 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.
“We owe it to Ohioans to provide resources for a safe and accessible election during this pandemic,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), who is a member of the Controlling Board.