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Eligible voters cast ballots at the Franklin County Board of Elections headquarters in Ohio. The state allowed one in-person voting location per county for the April primary.

Mail-in balloting surged last month. Don't let that ease your worries.

Burden is a professor of political science and director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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E-signing of ballot petitions during the pandemic blessed in federal courts

The number of cases is still small, but campaigns to allow electronic signatures to replace handwriting on ballot petitions are starting to fare better in federal court than state court.

The issue is central to keeping grassroots democracy alive despite the coronavirus — by allowing activists to show enough support for their ideas that they merit being put to a statewide vote, but in a safe and practical way while in-person canvassing remains both a profound health risk and prohibitively inefficient.

A potential breakthrough came Tuesday, when a federal judge said groups promoting a package of voting law changes, a minimum wage increase and marijuana decriminalization in Ohio should be allowed to circulate their petitions online.

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Vote Safe in 2020: OH & PA Election Plans for COVID-19

Organizer: Business for America

Please join us for a nationwide webinar on the importance of protecting voters' health with secure voting by mail and safe in-person voting — and how the business community can help make it happen.

We'll learn how Ohio and Pennsylvania, both swing states, are expanding access to vote-by-mail systems and keeping voters safe in the 2020 Elections. We'll also discuss the popularity and effectiveness of mail-in ballot options across the country.

We're pleased to be joined by:

  • Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R)
  • Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D)
  • Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute
  • Corley Kenna, Director, Global Communications & Public Relations at Patagonia
Location: Webinar
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No mail ballot arrived, so many Ohioans risk health and head to the polls

The delayed finish of the Ohio primary is in a few hours, but many voters are grappling with a difficult decision at the last moment: Confront the health risks of heading out to vote in person Tuesday or else be forced to sit this one out.

Three weeks after Wisconsin earned global criticism for pushing ahead with its primary in the teeth of the coronavirus pandemic, Ohio is threatened with similar ridicule — because thousands never received ballots they requested for what was supposed to be an all vote-by-mail election.

The back-to-back problems point to the level of logistical and legal impediments the country must overcome for there to be a fair, complete and healthy presidential election in November.

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