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Judge Again Blocks LaRose's Limit On Ballot Drop Boxes

Oct 8, 2020

A federal judge has temporarily blocked an order by Ohio’s elections chief that limits the number of ballot drop boxes available in next month’s election. 

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster called his move Thursday in the presidential battleground “essential to vindicate a vital constitutional right.” Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose moved immediately to appeal.

The judge's decision marked the second time in recent weeks that a judge has ruled against LaRose’s directive restricting drop boxes to a single location in each county.

The voting rights group A. Philip Randolph Institute had asked Polster to reopen its case so he could reconsider an earlier ruling.  Polster had dismissed the groups' suit Tuesday, citing the Secretary of State's order that permitted multiple drop boxes.  

In Cuyahoga County plans to set up ballot dropboxes at six public library sites across the county started to move forward - until LaRose "clarified" that his new order would permit multiple drop boxes - but only on a county's Board of Elections property.

Using a ballot drop box is an increasingly attractive option for voters who are concerned about the possible coronavirus exposure of in-person voting, and are also worried about the reliability of mail delivery.