The U.S. Postal Service will develop a policy on postmarking absentee ballots in light of concerns raised this week by Summit County elections officials about nearly 900 ballots discounted because they lacked postmarks. “We will be talking to the Ohio Secretary of State to reach a mutual understanding of acceptable postmarks for absentee ballots and develop a uniform policy addressing all concerns to help prevent this from happening again,” David Van Allen, a postal spokesman, said Thursday in a written statement.
Six postal officials, including U.S. Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman, traveled to Akron Thursday to meet with Summit County Board of Elections officials to discuss the board’s concerns. This followed a decision by the board Wednesday to hold a hearing Dec. 28 to probe the postmark problem after the board discounted 861 late absentee ballots from the Nov. 3 election that lacked postmarks. The board plans to subpoena the postmaster generals from Akron and Cleveland to appear at the hearing.
State officials weighed in on the controversy Thursday, with the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and state Rep. Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, issuing a statement asking Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to launch an investigation.