Ohio official: Election will not be ‘rigged’

The day after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said at a Columbus rally that he’s concerned the November election will be “rigged,” Ohio’s elections chief countered by saying the state’s electoral process is fair and bipartisan.

“Hillary Clinton is wrong when she says it is hard to vote and Donald Trump is wrong when he says the system is rigged,” said Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican. “Ohio is a place where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat.”

Husted’s statement references a federal lawsuit filed by officials affiliated with Clinton’s campaign last year accusing the state’s Republican leaders of attempt to suppress minority votes.

Husted’s office provided a list of safeguards in place to protect elections:

  • All boards of elections are run by bipartisan teams.
  • Pre-election testing on voting equipment and post-election audits are done statewide.
  • Voting machines are not connected to the internet.
  • All electronic voting systems use voter-verified ballots.
  • Every ballot cast has a paper record.
  • Thorough list maintenance ensures that only those eligible to vote in Ohio are registered.

The 2012 presidential election was marked with widespread concerns about voter fraud by candidates on the right and vote suppression by those on the left, which an analysis by this newspaper found didn’t materialize.

An investigation into voter fraud in 2013 found “voter fraud does exist, but it is not an epidemic,” in the words of Husted at the time.

>>> RELATED: How does the voting process work in Ohio?

Last month, Husted announced he is working with other states to clean up voter rolls by, among other things, removing voters who have died or moved out of the state.

“Despite what they heard from candidates, voters can be assured we are going to run a good election and we are going to have confidence in that process,” Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said on Tuesday. “Voters should have confidence in the process, so they can focus on the candidates and not the election.”

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