Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose traveled to Scioto County Wednesday to meet with the Scioto County Board of Elections and discuss with them new security measures which will be in place prior to the 2020 Election cycle that will reinforce election infrastructure.
LaRose’s security directive will require county boards of elections to implement significant security upgrades which will be funded by the Help America Vote Act. “We’ve been getting a lot of things in place to be prepared for the 2020 Election, including that security directive that I recognize is a lot of work. It’s important work, and it’s work that I know we can accomplish by working together on this,” said LaRose.
LaRose stated that from the three counties that have taken this directive on as a pilot project it appears that after some initial tests and trials the process becomes an easy adjustment to make.
The Scioto County Board of Elections employees indicated that new servers were already in place for the upcoming election, and that they were now awaiting new voting equipment. The Board of Elections stated that once the new equipment is received, they intend on hosting a mock election to allow voters to become familiar with the new equipment prior to elections. LaRose indicated his desire to be in attendance at that mock election to draw the interest of the public, and stated a similar event was hosted in Hamilton County.
LaRose stated that his office is also working with various election boards to get high school students more involved in elections.
“We’re taking the equipment out to high schools to let young people get familiar with it, and also getting them registered to vote and sign up to be poll workers,” said LaRose.
According to LaRose, the Youth at the Booth program has been utilized by many counties around the state to recruit 17 year olds to take part in elections. LaRose stated that high schools that award course credit or some type of educational incentive to students that participate in the program usually generate the most interest.
LaRose stated that his office is also currently working with several businesses and encouraging them to give their employees a paid day off to work the polls.
Some individuals from the Scioto County Board of Elections had questions regarding background checks, which will be implemented as part of the directive for permanent board of elections employees, vendors and contractors that perform sensitive services for the board of elections. LaRose stated that those with exclusive access to the Board of Elections Office would require those checks only, not requiring background checks for the courthouse employees who do not have access to the office after business hours.
LaRose stated by the end of this year he will have visited boards of elections in all of Ohio’s 88 counties.
“What I see is dedicated people who work really hard to run fair elections,” said LaRose. “I always joke that you might see a John F. Kennedy quote on someone’s wall or a Ronald Regan Bobble Head on someone’s desk, but really there’s no partisanship at the boards. These are proud Democrats and Republicans, but inside these walls they are patriotic men and women who work hard to run fair elections. That is what I see at boards of elections all across the state, and that is heartening to me. It means we are on the right path.”
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
© 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved