Ohio Secretary of State LaRose: Voters can have faith in Ohio’s elections

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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How electronic voting machine votes are handled on Election Day

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

LaRose questions accuracy of 2020 results in other states during Montgomery County visit

Ohio voters can be confident in election integrity during the primary election Tuesday because of the many checks and balances the state has in place, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said.

LaRose, the state’s top elections official, spoke Monday during a visit to the Montgomery County Board of Elections as workers prepared for the primary.

Ohio has strict rules governing handling of voting equipment and electronic and paper ballots, voting machines are never connected to the internet, nor do they have a way to do so, and a Democrat and a Republican board employee or poll worker is present for all activities, LaRose said. A post election audit verifies that the paper trail produced by electronic voting machines matches the electronic results, he said.

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LaRose, a Republican, endorsed GOP U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance, who says without evidence that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

“When I choose which candidate I’m going to vote for, which candidate I’m going to endorse, that doesn’t mean I’m going to agree with them 100% of the time,” LaRose said.

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Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose tours the Montgomery County Board of Election on election eve May 2, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose tours the Montgomery County Board of Election on election eve May 2, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Combined ShapeCaption
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose tours the Montgomery County Board of Election on election eve May 2, 2022. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Multiple investigations, election audits and court rulings nationwide, along with Trump’s then-Attorney General William Barr, found no evidence of widespread fraud or election problems that would have overturned Joe Biden’s win of the popular vote and in the Electoral College.

LaRose said he knows Ohio’s 2020 election, which Trump won, was secure and the results accurately reflected votes. But he would not say whether he thought the national election was stolen from Trump.

“I can’t speak for the other states. I can tell you this: It was not in Ohio,” LaRose said. “In other states, it’s an unknowable thing.”

LaRose questioned why some states changed processes around absentee voting in 2020 and did things to increase voter turnout. Ohio, during his tenure, was one of those states that made changes to help voters safely cast ballots as the COVID-19 pandemic raged and vaccinations remained unavailable.

“You don’t know what would have happened if things had been done differently,” LaRose said. “Understand that what I’m saying is there’s not some cloak and dagger secretive algorithm in the voting machine flipping votes. All that’s far fetched.”

In the lead up to Tuesday, county boards received 182,496 requests for absentee ballots according to the most recent data from April 26 released by LaRose’s office. Voters cast 100,809 ballots in person or by mail.

Republicans led the tally, with 51,332 cast. Democratic Party voters submitted 47,558 ballots and nonpartisan voters cast 1,919 absentee ballots.

Voters will decide each political party’s candidates for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, statewide races for U.S. Senate and Ohio governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state, auditor, supreme court and state district court of appeals, as well as local races, and local issues such as tax levies. Some of those races are competitive, and some of them are unopposed on their party ballot.

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The political party winners and any independents who filed by Monday’s deadline will face off in the Nov. 8 election.

Voters Tuesday will not select party candidates for the Ohio House of Representatives, Ohio Senate or political party state central committee races because the Ohio Redistricting Commission, which LaRose is a member of, failed to produce constitutional district maps in time for the election. A second primary date has not yet been set.

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