Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald expressed disappointment Monday with a directive from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted that orders boards of elections throughout Ohio to stop mailing unsolicited absentee ballot applications to all registered voters.

The directive was received by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections within moments of FitzGerald issuing a letter to Husted asking him to break a 2-to-2 tie vote of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The vote, along party lines, concerned whether to continue the county’s successful Vote by Mail Program.

By mailing absentee voting applications to all registered voters, the Vote by Mail Program is intended to voting easier in Cuyahoga County and reduce lines at the polls.

“This is taking a step backwards in terms of ballot access,” FitzGerald said of the secretary of state’s directive. “We should be doing what we can to make voting easier in Ohio.”

FitzGerald said he is examining Cuyahoga County’s options in light of today’s ruling.