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Cuyahoga County leaders have voted to assert home-rule powers and mail unsolicited, absentee-ballot applications to registered voters if the state doesn’t do so.

The Cuyahoga County Council approved the proposal Tuesday in response to a state law barring county elections boards and public officials from mailing such forms.

The proposal came from county Executive Ed FitzGerald, who says he’s not intimidated by threats to cut off 10 percent of the county’s local government share of the local government funds if the county sends out absentee ballot applications in violation of a newly-enacted state law.

He called the move “blackmail ” and “sleazy politics” and said the county will not be deterred.

“If the folks in Columbus think we are going to be impressed by these kind of hardball tactics, they have another think coming,” he said.

Tuesday afternoon Republicans backed off the threat to cut county funding.

Gov. John Kasich came out against it.

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