Before Secretary of State Frank LaRose toured the Delaware County Board of Elections Tuesday, he sat down with members of the board to talk about the implementation of the new voter equipment and measures for secure elections. He also took a moment to quash misinformation with the truth.
According to Karla Herron, Delaware County Board of Elections director, during the May 7 primary election, the board fully implemented the new voting equipment.
“You guys are ahead of the curve,” LaRose said. “A lot of counties are going to be conducting their first election with the new equipment this November.”
However, LaRose said the fact remains there will be voters who turn out in November who didn’t vote in May, so they will be seeing the new machines for the first time.
“The implementation sort of goes on in that way,” he said.
LaRose also addressed the board about knowing how to manage the “information flow.”
“What I mean is that, unfortunately, there are those out there who want to mislead the public as it relates to elections,” he said. “I’m encouraging our boards to work actively to make sure the truth gets out there.”
LaRose said a lot of people don’t realize that the equipment, which collects the ballots and tabulates them, is not connected to the internet. He said connecting a voting machine to the internet is a violation of Ohio Law.
“The actual collection and tabulation of ballots is a very secure process,” he said. “The security protocols we have in place are very good. I want to make sure there is no misunderstanding that the security work we are doing on the internet-connected stuff is a separate conversation from what happens with the actual voting machines.”
LaRose also made mention of things his office has seen or encountered. He said some foreign actors are intentionally misinforming groups of people through the spreading of misinformation.
“The best antidote to misinformation is the truth,” he said. “Allowing people to understand the election process and all that goes into it is one of the best things that we can do, because what they are doing is corroding the trust in the way we do elections.”
LaRose also discussed maintaining an accurate voter list as another component which people seem very interested in these days. He said Ohio law is very clear on how the process is to work.
“I’m carrying out the law as it is written, because it’s what my oath of office obligates me to do,” he said. “But, at the same time, I think it’s time we modernize the way we do voter registration in Ohio. I have been working with a bipartisan group in the legislator to get a bill produced that can help us update and modernize that process.”
LaRose said the current process limits his office to the rule of six years of inactivity and the nonresponsiveness to mailings as the only way to remove somebody deceased or that has moved out of the county from the voting rolls.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.