WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Today, lawmakers penned a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose urging him to take quick, decisive action to ensure the health and safety of Ohio voters and poll workers in the upcoming general election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Written by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9), U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) and Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on elections Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11), the letter specifically urged LaRose to immediately implement recommendations from a coalition of over 200 doctors, faith leaders and leading voting rights advocates to ensure in-person voters and poll workers "are not forced to make the impossible decision" between their health and fundamental right to vote.
"As Ohio's Secretary of State, it is your responsibility to ensure that all Ohioans have access to safe in-person voting options and that poll workers, the backbone of our democracy, are afforded every health and safety precaution in this upcoming election," lawmakers wrote in the letter. "You have an urgent obligation to communicate the steps you are proactively taking to instill confidence in the machinery of democracy. We urge you to implement these recommendations, and thank you for your prompt consideration of our request," the letter continued.
Some of the recommendations requested include requiring social distancing, wearing facemasks and providing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to poll workers.
In previous weeks, lawmakers have sent multiple letters to LaRose regarding the upcoming election. Those letters urged LaRose to locate additional drop boxes across all 88 counties, allow multiple secure ballot drop boxes and prepaying postage for absentee ballots and ballot applications for the upcoming 2020 General Election.