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LaRose dodges lawmaker questions on vote counting timeline and investigation into Trump-flag waving ballot vendor

October 21, 2020
Democratic Newsroom

COLUMBUS— State Representatives Paula Hicks-Hudson (D - Toledo), Catherine D. Ingram (D-Cincinnati), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) are again demanding answers from Secretary LaRose. They asked him yesterday to confirm that his order cutting the time period that counties have to count votes will not actually block any votes from counting.


The lawmakers also want a complete investigation into Midwest Direct, a ballot printing company that was flying a Trump flag until they started encountering problems causing thousands of ballots to be delayed around the state. In a late afternoon response, the secretary refused to confirm either one.

See the lawmakers’ reply below:

October 21, 2020

Dear Secretary LaRose,

Thank you for your quick response to the letter we sent yesterday morning. Your letter, like your newsletters, did not answer our questions so we write again to ask you:

1)      Please confirm that your office will not cut off the counting of ballots if a county board of elections is not finished by 2 p.m. on November 18. Any board of elections that needs more of the time granted by ORC 3505.32(A) to count ballots must not be blocked by your office from performing a complete count.

2)     Please let us know when you will perform an investigation into your office’s failure to vet Midwest Direct as a competent vendor for handling Ohioans’ ballots as well as the company’s failure to meet its obligations and to communicate adequately to our county boards of elections. Election officials and voters were left in the dark because of this significant failure and lack of communication.


Paula Hicks-Hudson

State Representative, District 44

Chair, House Democratic Caucus COVID-19 Elections Working Group 

Michele Lepore-Hagan

State Representative, District 58

Catherine D. Ingram

State Representative, District 32

Bride Rose Sweeney

State Representative, District 14