Ohio’s GOP Leaders Escalate Bid to Curb Use of Ballot Drop Boxes

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Ohio’s Republican leadership plans to appeal a finding that a new rule limiting each county to one ballot drop box during the upcoming election regardless of population size is “arbitrary and unreasonable.”

Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Wednesday asked state court Judge Richard A. Frye in Columbus to allow an immediate appeal of his opinion a day earlier, in which LaRose’s justification for the limit was deemed “nonsense.”

“Yesterday’s ruling has enormous implications for holding a secure and fair election in Ohio and assuring voters of the integrity of its result,” LaRose’s spokeswoman, Maggie Sheehan, said in an emailed statement. “Ohioans deserve a full and immediate review of the ruling by the appellate courts.”

The clash escalated further on Wednesday after theOhio Democratic Party, which sued to overturn the rule, argued that state Republicans should be held in contempt for “abhorrent” public comments accusing Democrats of colluding with a judge they called biased by getting an advanced copy of the ruling.

The Republicans’ “numerous false allegations of corruption and misconduct” amount to contempt, the Democrats said.

In response, lawyers for the Ohio Republican Party said the public statement had been taken down.

The fight underscores the diverging views that Democrats and Republicans have on the expected surge in mail-in voting, which President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence will lead to a massive fraud and a “rigged” election.

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