Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said bipartisan cooperation, increased safety measures, and security and accuracy safeguards were “on full display” at the Fayette County Board of Elections at last Tuesday’s special election.
LaRose and some of his staff visited the local board of elections as the board’s staff tabulated results for the Washington Court House City Schools’ 1 percent earned income tax levy. The election was too close to call as 751 City of Washington Court House citizens voted for the passage of the levy and 748 voted against. The final result will be announced Aug. 17 once outstanding absentee ballots and provisional ballots are counted.
In a recent Facebook post, LaRose wrote:
“With the chaos of campaign ads and the endless stream of often unreliable and hyperbolic information via social media it often goes unnoticed what actually goes into running an election. The reality is, there are 88 bipartisan teams of patriotic professionals who dedicate long hours to the work they do. This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to shadow one of these teams at the Fayette County Board of Elections as they held a special election.
“Walking into the board at the end of Election Day is like watching the gears turn in a clock. Each member of the half-Democrat, half-Republican team was collaborating through each step of the process with precision and poise. The bipartisan nature of county boards of elections really came through as Director Beth Ann Snyder and Deputy Director Karla Morrison took me through their tabulation process. Beth Ann and Karla are dedicated members of their respective parties, setting aside their partisanship to ensure the accuracy of the election. It’s important to remember that everything done from the start to the end of the process requires a Republican and a Democrat. Even when the ballots are driven from the polling location to the boards after the polls close there must be a republican and a democrat in the car. Even the doors have two locks assuring both parties are present before anyone can enter. These are just a few of the many security measures the boards put in place to protect your vote.
“When any Ohioan goes to cast their ballot, they can see some of the safeguards we have in place to protect their vote from the machines that are never connected to the internet, paper backups, etc. What my senior team and I saw firsthand this week was the process after the polls close. The ballots go through each step of a careful process, tabulation of results begins, and the staff cross-references the paper receipt with the scanner tally to ensure accuracy. A one-time use memory stick securely uploads those results to their system. These simple measures ensure both the security and accuracy of the results.
“Visiting Fayette County was also a great chance for me to see how boards of elections are adapting to voting in the COVID-19 pandemic. The best practices from CDC, the Ohio Department of Health, county health officials and our office were on display in this election for the voters and elections staff. Social distancing, masks, barriers and increased sanitation were seen throughout my entire visit.
“As we move closer to this fall’s election, Ohio voters can rest easy knowing they have highly dedicated teams working for them in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. With their hard work, Ohio will continue the tradition of having the safe, secure, and accessible elections we can all be proud of and the voice of each Ohio voter will be heard.”