FitzGerald to challenge Ohio's early voting rules

CLEVELAND (AP) — The leader of Ohio's largest county says he plans to challenge a new state law that bars county elections boards from mailing unsolicited, absentee-ballot applications.

Ohio-Voting Sidd

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, front, speaks about protecting voter rights at a news conference at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Cleveland. Ohio's decision Wednesday eliminated early voting on Sundays and only permits it for two Saturdays during the general election. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Absentee ballots allow Ohio voters to cast an early ballot by mail or in person.

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said Thursday he plans to introduce legislation in the county's council that asserts its home-rule authority and provides a pathway to ensure the applications could be sent to voters in the county, which includes Cleveland.

FitzGerald is a Democrat and is running for governor.

Last week, Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) signed a bill allowing the secretary of state to send the applications for general elections only if the Legislature directs the money for it. Other public officials would be banned from doing so.