What will this November’s General Election look like? Should Ohio allow in-person voting, or instead opt for an all-vote-by-mail system as a safety precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

These are the questions being pondered by Ohio politicians from both parties, as well as a number of voter rights groups in the state.

The election is scheduled for Nov. 3, 2020. Under the present system, Ohioans can vote early by mail or in-person at their county’s board of elections. Or, they could choose to cast a traditional ballot at the polls on Election Day. Any changes to that plan must come from the state legislature.

Officials are proposing some changes be made to account for the health risks associated with the pandemic. The Ohio Capital Journal reviewed four separate proposals to highlight areas of consensus as well as ideas in which there is some disagreement:

  • Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who oversees the Ohio election system
  • Ohio Voter Rights Coalition, made up of several advocacy groups
  • Democrat Leaders’ Letter dated May 11
  • Ohio House of Representatives’ Democratic caucus

Here is how they would approach the upcoming November election.


The Democrats letter was signed by 5 mayors; 4 current/former state legislators; 7 county officials; and 7 city officials from around the state. The Ohio Voter Rights Coalition is comprised of a number of voting advocacy groups around the state.

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