Voting Rights

Rebecca Roth reviews applications for election ballots at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss President Trump's inaccurate claim that mail-in ballots are ripe for fraud. Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida, joins the show.

Elizabeth Hernandez moved to the United States from Mexico almost 30 years ago and was days away from becoming an American citizen when her March 15 naturalization ceremony was canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It made me sad," said Hernandez, who lives in New Mexico. She hadn't thought much about becoming a citizen until this year because of the upcoming election. "I want to vote for a president who will improve the country."

The only fraud being perpetrated in the 2020 presidential election so far is the unmitigated nonsense being tweeted out on a nearly daily basis by the president of the United States.

Security outside of the Franklin County Board of Elections on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

Ohio's spring election saw the shuttering of polling places and the extension of absentee voting as COVID-19 spread throughout the state. To avoid confusion before the November election, voting rights groups are asking lawmakers to change voting laws now, but the two groups aren't necessarily on the same page when it comes to making reforms.

Amy Sutherly gathers signatures to put a referendum of HB6 on the 2020 November ballot. She has a brace around her wrist saying she sustained the injury after a counter petitioner hit her.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

A federal appeals court has dealt a blow to Ohio groups trying to put constitutional amendment proposals on the November ballot.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, comments on the final statement of House Democratic impeachment manager House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Jan. 24, 2020.
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is co-sponsoring a bill to provide federal funding for this November’s election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

No door-to-door canvassing. Public gatherings are canceled. Motor vehicle offices are closed. Naturalization ceremonies are on hiatus.

Almost every place where Americans usually register to vote has been out of reach since March and it's led to a big drop in new registrations right before a presidential election that was expected to see record turnout.

Rebecca Roth reviews applications for election ballots at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

A federal court ruled Tuesday that an Ohio group will have more time to collect petition signatures to put a voter rights amendment on the November ballot. The groups will also be permitted to collect those signatures electronically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday escalated his rhetorical campaign against an expansion of mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic by threatening federal funding to two states with Democratic governors.

Trump appeared to be set off by an announcement Tuesday from Michigan's Democratic secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, who said her office will mail an absentee ballot application to every voter in the state for August and November elections.

Republican state officials who want to expand absentee and mail-in voting during the pandemic have found themselves in an uncomfortable position due to their party's rhetoric.

President Trump has claimed repeatedly, without providing evidence, that mail-in voting is ripe for fraud and bad for the GOP. He and other Republicans have charged that Democrats might use it to "steal" the election.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, right, overseeing the Election Night Reporting Center in Columbus, Ohio, watches early returns in the Ohio primary election from the Election Night Command Center, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Gene Puskar / Associated Press

Ohio’s Secretary of State says an election day with in-person voting is still the plan for this fall, but he’s suggesting some changes in case concerns about coronavirus keep voters away.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, overseeing the Election Night Reporting Center, in Columbus, Ohio, calls for the closing of the polls in the Ohio primary election, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Gene Puskar / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss how Ohio handled its primary election during this global pandemic. They also talk about the controversy over who is and is not required to wear masks in stores and other businesses.

Security outside of the Franklin County Board of Elections on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

The League of Women Voters said Ohio's low voter turnout is proof that the state was unprepared for a mostly vote-by-mail primary election. 

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, right, overseeing the Election Night Reporting Center in Columbus, Ohio, watches early returns in the Ohio primary election from the Election Night Command Center, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Gene Puskar / Associated Press

Ohio's election Tuesday was definitely out of the ordinary, but Secretary of State Frank LaRose still counts it as successful.

Security outside of the Franklin County Board of Elections on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

On Tuesday afternoon, poll workers at the Franklin County Board of Elections on Morse Road wore face masks and occasionally gloves as they guided voters to the proper location.

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