Your March 19 New York Times guest editorial “Ohio mistrusts democracy” takes issue with Ohio’s voting laws, suggesting in part that the goal of having fair and uniform standards creates a burden on voting.
You gotta love the New York Times. Here you have the newspaper in a state, New York, in which voting is done in one day questioning voter access in a state, Ohio, in which voting is allowed for nearly 30 days.
It’s hard for any reasonable person to conclude that voting in Ohio is difficult, especially when you compare the opportunities to vote in Ohio with the experience of New York voters.
If you are a registered voter in the state of New York, you have one day per election to cast your ballot. The only exception to this is if you are going to be absent from your county on Election Day, sick or disabled, caring for a sick or disabled relative, a patient in a Veterans’ Administration hospital, or detained in jail. In these cases, the voter may make arrangements to receive an absentee ballot. But for most New Yorkers, it’s just one day to vote.
In Ohio, we make it both easy to vote and hard to cheat, while providing many options to accommodate all Ohioans equally.
This November, Ohio voters will have 28 days to cast a ballot in person at their local boards of elections, including on two Saturdays. Or those same voters can instead choose to vote through absentee ballot by mail, which gives them 24 hours a day, seven days a week for up to four weeks to vote without leaving home. No excuse is required.
And let’s not forget Election Day itself, when neighborhood polling locations will be open for 13 hours, as always.
Whether you vote for one day or 30 days is not the issue. A variety of schedules will work just fine. But one thing is for sure, if you really “trust democracy,” you will spend your time explaining to people how easy it is to vote, rather than trying to convince them it isn’t.
Ohio Secretary of State