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Voters Will Still Get Absentee Applications by Mail

County officials override state directive.

Cuyahoga County plans to again mail out applications for absentee ballots to all voters — a victory for local election officials and an important decision in Lakewood.

Cuyahoga County Council voted last night to override opposition from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and support County Executive Ed FitzGerald's decision to continue mailing the applications.

"We can't go back to the days of long lines and voter confusion," Cuyahoga County Vice President Sunny Simon said in a news release.  "Our elections board has implemented key reforms — and they've worked. Our ability to vote is a fundamental right that must come first."

In the Aug. 2 special election, 8,643 of the 10,991 ballots cast were absentee — about 79 percent — according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

FitzGerald and Husted have been sparring since Husted said boards of elections can no longer mass-mail absentee applications to all voters in the county. 

FitzGerald, the , said another county department would do the mailings and pick up the tab for postage.

After controversy over elections in 2004 and 2006, the Board of Elections started to mail absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters, hoping to streamline the process and make voting easier.

"The effort has drastically improved elections in the county, reducing lines and making voting a seamless experience for many county voters," the news release from Simon said.

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