Husted States Ohio’s Election System is Safe

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is reminding voters that Ohio’s election system remains secure heading into the November General Election.

“With another important election on the horizon, the issue of election security will again be on the national agenda,” said Secretary Husted. “However, election security is on our minds 365 days a year as we work with local, state, and federal officials to make sure every available security precaution is in place well in advance of Election Day.”

In June, Secretary Husted announced a $12.2 million dollar investment focused on security improvements and technological advancements. Made possible through funds stemming from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the plan includes multiple initiatives to update the Statewide Voter Registration System Database, provide county boards of elections with enhanced cybersecurity safeguards, and conduct post-election audits.

The Secretary of State’s Office recently facilitated five regional security training sessions for election officials across Ohio. Modeled after similar exercises conducted by the Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, the workshops provided boards of elections staff with an opportunity to evaluate their readiness to deal with cyber threats, while also assessing their ability to perform tasks critical to procedural standards.

An additional safeguard in place is that voting machines and tabulation equipment used in Ohio are prohibited from having an internet or network connection. Under state law, all voting equipment must be certified by the federal Election Assistance Commission and the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners. All voting machines undergo pre-election testing and post-election audits are conducted statewide. These practices ensure all voting equipment is ready for use on Election Day and, once an election concludes, ensures election officials that machines performed as expected.

Also worth noting is the fact that Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections are run by bipartisan teams of two democrats and two republicans. These officials work together to administer fair elections at the local level. Additionally, each polling place in Ohio is staffed by an equal number of republicans and democrats. Once polls have closed, cast ballots and memory cards must be returned to the board of elections by both a democrat and republican election official traveling in the same vehicle.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.

Preserving Election Integrity – By the Numbers:

.38,000 Ohioans have registered to vote using the Secretary of State’s website.

.More than 552,000 voters have updated their registration online.

.Removed more than 686,000 deceased Ohioans from voter rolls.

.Now have complete information on 90 percent of voters – up from just 20 percent in 2011.

.Contacted roughly 2.3 million voters to update information by mail.

.Secretary Husted has reached out to more than 2.2 million Ohioans who are unregistered, but eligible to vote.

.Resolved more than 1.9 million duplicate registrations.