Today in session, the Delaware County Board of Commissioners approved a letter of support to be sent to Ohio Secretary Frank LaRose:


August 17, 2020

The Honorable Frank LaRose
Ohio Secretary of State
22 N. Fourth Street, 16th Floor
Columbus, Ohio  43215

Dear Secretary LaRose:

We are writing in response to recent proposals for your office to authorize setting up additional ballot drop boxes in multiple locations throughout each Ohio county.

It is our understanding that, primarily because of the Covid-19 situation, you do not support establishing more than the one secure location in each county and that it should be located near and outside the Board of Elections headquarters in each county.

We write in support of your position.

In Ohio, the voters have 30 days to vote in person or by absentee ballot, which provides considerable flexibility. Further, they are able to vote by mailing their absentee ballots or by depositing them in the drop boxes described above. In Delaware County, the security of our drop box is monitored 24/7 by camera.

Our reasons for supporting your position are as follows:

First, adding additional drop boxes would violate current law.

 Second, any changes to the current system also could encourage ballot harvesting in which “helpers” go door-to-door to pick up absentee ballots from people and take them to the local Boards of Elections or to drop boxes. Such scenarios are rife with opportunity for those who have no qualms about manipulating the voting process.

 Third, if the law allowed for multiple locations in each county (and the law does not), the cost to provide the security required would be considerable. It would be unrealistic to believe the threshold for adequate security could be met at hundreds of additional locations.

 Fourth, the Board of Elections in each county would be strained to meet its manpower needs. Each box would require a Democrat and a Republican to pick up the ballots at that box. To be legal, this would have to be done at EXACTLY 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. It is reasonable to assume the Secretary of State’s office would identify other times to make pick-ups and, if so, this process would also require a Democrat and a Republican to be present. This would be an impractical use of resources and personnel who could better be used on the night of the election.

Therefore, the Delaware County Board of Commissioners strongly objects to these proposals and believes that any such changes would detrimentally affect the integrity of the voting process in Ohio. It is essential for all of us to know that each of our votes in the 2020 General Election ensures that one person has one vote, and that this vote was cast with honesty and accurately expresses the choices of the legally registered voter.

The Delaware County Board of Commissioners unequivocally supports your efforts to maintain the integrity of the process for the reasons stated in this letter.

Jeff Benton
Barb Lewis
Gary Merrell