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Secretary of State Husted to U.S. Postmaster General: Planned Closure of Mail Processing Facilities in Ohio Could Affect Ballot Distribution

COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted on Friday sent a letter to United States Postmaster General Patrick Donahue to convey his concerns over the planned closures of United States Postal Service (USPS) mail processing facilities and the impact it could have on Ohio elections.

“Ensuring the security in how elections are administered in Ohio is of the utmost importance,” Secretary Husted said. “Drastic changes in how mail is processed could have unintended consequences, specifically when it comes to how Ohio voters’ absentee ballots are handled.”

Secretary Husted is concerned that closing USPS processing facilities in Ohio would result in mail needing to be shipped out of state for processing. This means that some Ohio absentee ballots would be sent out of state for processing twice: once when sent to a voter and once when returned to the board of elections. Added to those concerns is the fact that all active voters will be receiving an absentee ballot application ahead of the 2012 General Election and Ohio will likely see an increase in the number of ballots cast by mail.

While I understand the financial constraints facing the USPS, it is my responsibility as Ohio’s Chief Elections Official to ensure that regardless of the method by which a qualified elector chooses to cast a ballot, their vote is counted without incident,” Secretary Husted said.

Secretary Husted welcomes the opportunity to further discuss the situation and his concerns with the Postmaster General.

Additional Information

Letter to U.S. Postmaster General (PDF)

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