Republican members on Ohio’s controlling board, a seven-person body within the state’s Office of Budget and Management, have voted down a proposal that would pay the postage on mail-in ballots for November.
The initiative would have cost a mere $3 million, and the money would have come from a special fund that has been used in the past to cover the costs of voting machines, training for poll workers, and other election expenses, according to the Associated Press.
But four Republicans on the board insisted they would be overstepping their authority if they voted yes on the proposal, which was actually introduced by a fellow Republican—Secretary of State Frank LaRose. With just 49 days left until the election (!!!!), it’s more or less a given now that Ohioans who want to vote by mail will have to buy their own stamps to do so.
Apparently, before covid-19, there were only 17 states that provided prepaid postage on mail-in ballots. But during the pandemic, some states, like Pennsylvania—which in July allocated coronavirus relief funds to cover the cost—have put plans in place to change that.
As it is, there are so many barriers to voting, no one needs another. The line for the post office is almost always intolerably long, very few people have home printers with which to print a stamp from Stamps.com, and though I’m sure everyone is as eager as I am to own these Bugs Bunny stamps available on the USPS website, the principle remains: No one should have to pay to vote.