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Ohio Canvass Period Shortened And Some Fear Effect On Voters

Dan Konik

Some Democratic state lawmakers want to know why Republican Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is shortening the amount of time counties can have to finish the official count from November’s election.

Ohio House Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney says state law allows until November 24th to complete the official canvass. That's the period of time when county boards of elections can count ballots and handle provisional votes. Secretary of State Frank LaRose recently issued a directive that shortened that period by six days.

Sweeney says Ohio is projecting a huge voter turnout, with many early voters and first-time voters. That could mean more voter confusion and mistakes that would need to be corrected. Plus, she says there have been ballot printing delaysand changes in mail service that make it less reliable. So she says boards of elections need the maximum time they can get to count ballots. And she fears without enough time, voters could be disenfranchised. 

“One person who could have had their ballot counted who didn’t, that’s one too many," Sweeney says.

A spokesman for LaRose says the expedited deadline will ensure there would be enough time for recounts if necessary.  

Updated at 6 p.m. with a statement from LaRose's office. You can read it here.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.