COLUMBUS - Today Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that changes being made by the United States Postal Service will lead to faster delivery of vote-by-mail-ballots to Ohioans’ homes. The changes come after Secretary LaRose sent a letter to Ohio’s congressional delegation regarding delays in mail delivery that were impacting how quickly Ohioans were receiving their vote-by-mail ballots. The letter can be viewed by clicking this link.
Today, Secretary LaRose spoke with USPS Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman and Chief Operating Officer David Williams about the challenges and what could be done to resolve the issues which voters and elections officials had brought to his attention. As a result, significant improvements in mail delivery are taking place across Ohio. They include the following:
- USPS will institute “all clear” processes to ensure all election mail is processed each day.
- USPS will set up hand-to-hand delivery for election mail as it makes its way through processing on Saturday, from the board of elections to the distribution center.
- Staff will recheck collection bins each day to ensure late arriving ballots are retrieved.
- Postal facilities will track election mail deliveries to Ohio’s boards of elections starting on Monday, April 27th and continuing through May 8th.
- To avoid further delivery delays in northwest Ohio, election mail will not be routed through the Detroit Regional Distribution Center. Instead it will be kept in-state. Additionally, an Ohio manager will be assigned to Detroit to ensure any mail mistakenly sent there is handled appropriately.
- The United States Postal Service will assign their independent investigative unit to do additional “all clear” checks at Ohio facilities.
“I appreciate the extraordinary efforts that the USPS is taking in Ohio, where we are the first state to convert a traditional in-person election to an all vote-by-mail election in response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio’s county boards of elections are doing everything within their power to bring this election to a successful conclusion, and the partnership of the USPS is crucial to their work.”
Ohio voters must get their ballots in the mail by April 27th or drop them off in the secure drop box at their county board of elections by 7:30pm on April 28th. There will be limited in-person voting only available to disabled and homeless voters at the county BOE facility on Tuesday April 28th. For all other voters, this is a vote-by-mail election only.