Ohio creates integrity division targeting election security

A new public integrity division aims to increase secure, accurate and accessible elections in Ohio, the state’s secretary of state says.

The division will combine different responsibilities of the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, including campaign finance reporting, voting system certification, voter registration integrity, election law violations investigations, data retention and transparency and cybersecurity protocols.

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“This is a responsibility I take very seriously because this quite simply is about defending democracy,” said Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. “Our elections are being scrutinized like never before, and any lack of absolute confidence in the accuracy and honesty of those elections weakens the very foundation of our democracy.”

The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office noted voter fraud and suppression are rare in Ohio, but any violation impacts voters’ confidence in elections.

The Ohio Democratic Party called the announcement a “political stunt at taxpayer expense.”

“LaRose himself only turned over exactly one alleged case of illegal voting to the authorities earlier this year,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Matt Keyes. “Now he’s creating a taxpayer-funded solution to a problem that doesn’t exist in order to further his own political ambitions.”

The new division will begin operating Monday, just ahead of Ohio’s voter registration deadline on Tuesday and the start of early voting on Wednesday. New investigators will be added to the division after the Nov. 8 general election.

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