Ralph Wunder, Smith’s campaign advisor, said the firm Smith hired to do the polygraph test is “state-certified” and “has no ties or prior connection” to her. He provided the name of the firm but said it was not for publication.
Ohio has no licensing requirement for polygraph examiners but the private Ohio Association of Polygraph Examiners does certify those meeting basic requirements, according to its website. Randy Alexander, president of the OAPE, said the company doing Smith’s polygraph test is a member of the OAPE but is not currently certified.
RELATED: 'Don't force me to release the rest of the text messages,' local candidate tells lawmaker
The owner of the company said there is no such thing as “state certification” and he said the company is not certified by OAPE or any private group. The man would not confirm that his company is doing the polygraph and his name is not being used here since Wunder has not publicly released the name of the company.
Smith and Perales face off in the May 8 Republican primary in the predominantly Republican district. The winner will run against Democrat Kim McCarthy of Sugarcreek Twp. in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Polygraph tests, known informally as lie detector tests, are controversial and not admissible in a court of law unless both parties agree, said Tom Hagel, professor emeritus of law at the University of Dayton. That rarely occurs because usually one side or the other has something to lose if the test is admitted, he said.
But Hagel said the larger problem is accuracy of the tests.
“With polygraph tests the science is something like voodoo. It’s been tested over and over and over again and it’s not come close to meeting scientific standards,” Hagel said. “The public puts great stock in them, it seems, since all their information comes from television sets.”
The American Psychological Association says there is “no evidence that any pattern of physiological reactions is unique to deception. An honest person may be nervous when answering truthfully and a dishonest person may be non-anxious,” according to an article on polygraph tests posted on the group’s website.
“If you are a sociopath there is a good chance that you can pass it,” Hagel said. “You don’t sweat if you are lying. It’s just second nature.”
The OAPE website defends the tests, saying, “Statistically, no other techniques or developing techniques come close to the accuracy and validity of polygraph.”
Other related stories:
Consultant says challenger Jocelyn Smith out to ‘ruin’ Rep. Perales
Credibility, #MeToo could be factors in local House race
Candidate now accusing local lawmaker of ‘fondling’ her