COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is warning voters of possible misinformation ahead of the November election. He insists the voting process is safe, and that mail-in ballots will be secure.
The Secretary of State’s office is proactively working to increase transparency ahead of the November 3 election. Tuesday in Columbus Secretary LaRose said it requires a lot of effort from thousands of people, but he says the state will be ready. “One of the concerns I have is that because of a lot of the rhetoric about absentee voting this year, it could cause people to not want to do that.”
Secretary LaRose is also battling mistrust and misinformation ahead of one of the most anticipated elections in history. The state will send out 7.8 million absentee ballots this year. They’ll be accepted up to 10 days after election day, as long as they’re legally cast and postmarked by November 2, the day before the election.
So on election night, LaRose will report the results that have been collected, but also the ballots that have not. “We are going to report those results, but we’re also going to report the number of outstanding ballots. There will be tens, probably hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots that are still out that we expect to come back.”
Because so many ballots will likely be in the mail, he advises candidates not declare victory on election night, and voters against accepting those claims. He says some results will change after election night. “That’s not a sign of something nefarious happening, in fact quite the contrary. It’s a sign the system is working the way it’s supposed to.”
The state requires a minimum of 35,000 poll workers, but LaRose says counties should have 50% more in reserve. This year a new tool is tracking how many poll workers are still needed in each county. Secretary LaRose says, “Bad news doesn’t get better with time, and if a county is behind on their poll worker recruitment efforts then we need to know that so we can surge resources to them, help them out so they can step up their game.”
With so many people filling out absentee ballots, Secretary LaRose reminds you to sign your ballot and include your email address so your Board of Elections can contact you if a mistake is made.
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