In response to an initial decision made late today by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to deny a waiver for military and overseas voters, LaRose is taking swift action to ensure Ohio’s military men and women have every opportunity to have their voices heard in the May 3rd primary election.
Extensive ongoing litigation has had a significant impact on the window of time for county boards of elections to finalize ballots for eligible overseas military voters by the March 19th deadline. In order to ensure county boards are able to provide accurate ballots, LaRose made the waiver request to the DoD on February 26th.
“After serving overseas myself, I can remember getting that ballot in the mail and the special connection it gave me to home,” said LaRose. “The legislature has made it clear that the primary election will take place on May 3rd, so I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure our military men and women can make their voices heard.”
LaRose will be having extensive discussions with both the General Assembly and the DoD to find a workable solution that meets the needs of our military members while also considering the short window of time county boards have to finalize ballots.
Over the past several weeks, Secretary LaRose has told General Assembly leaders that because of extensive delays, there are serious concerns with the inclusion of state legislative and congressional contests on the primary ballot. Those delays include the US Census missing their deadline to provide the data necessary to complete the General Assembly and congressional redistricting maps by four and a half months, as well as the Ohio Supreme Court requiring nearly six months in total to deliberate on their constitutionality.
In the 2018 primary election, the last comparable election to this year’s, 1,074 military and overseas ballots were counted.
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