Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose talks with workers at the Clark County Board of Elections Thursday before a tour of the facility. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Ohio Secretary of State says in Springfield he’s confident in voting machines

The Ohio Secretary of State said during a visit to Springfield that he doesn’t anticipate problems seen in other areas of the country to impact Ohio elections.

Frank LaRose spoke to Clark County Board of Elections board and their employees Thursday as he works to visit every election board in the state. LaRose also visited the Champaign County election board Thursday.

He told the Springfield News-Sun that he is confident that Ohio elections will run smoothly this November and during what is sure to be a competitive presidential election next year.

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“The big take away for Clark County voters is that your voice matters and that every election matters,” Larose said. “This November is important as it relates to the quality of life for your community, the kind of schools that your children are educated in. There’s no such thing as an off-year.”

“Next year as we roll into the busier presidential election, the eyes of the world are going to be on Ohio and the eyes of the world are going to be on Clark County. The men and women here at the Clark County Board of Elections are ready to make sure that election is going to be run fairly and accurately. Nobody should sit it out.”

Clark County has been a focal point in recent elections. In 2012, President Barrack Obama visited Springfield in the final weekend before election day. In 2016, now President Donald Trump visited the Clark County fairgrounds.

“They know Ohio matters and know Clark County voters matter,” LaRose said of candidates. “People who win in counties like Clark County win nationwide.”

National concern has grown this week about the integrity of elections as a viral video showed a voting machine changing a Mississippi voter selection. Ohio has invested more than $100 million upgrading machines across the state, LaRose said.

“Ohio is leading the nation by investing in the new state-of-the-art equipment and it’s more much accurate as it relates to those touch screens,” he said.

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Clark County voters specifically won’t have to worry about touch screens, Clark County Election Board Director Jason Baker said, because the county’s new machines use paper.

“Voters have to put pen to paper,” Baker said. “The board would not go to any kind of touchscreen.”

Baker said he appreciated LaRose coming to Springfield to talk to the employees.

LaRose said that while he is the secretary of state, it’s the county board of elections that run the show come election day.

“This is about relationship building and to make sure that I listen to them,” LaRose said. “It’s the folks at this county board of election and 87 others around the state that do the day to day work of running elections and making sure that when the voters show up on election day, or the 28 days of early voting in Ohio, they know that their voice is going be accurately reflected n that final tally.”

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