COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose released the following statement today after the Ohio House unanimously passed SB 52. This legislation is sponsored by State Senator Theresa Gavarone (R- Bowling Green). It now returns to the Ohio Senate for concurrence.
The following statement may be attributed to Secretary LaRose:
“Make no mistake -- our enemies, both foreign and domestic, are working every single day to break into our computer systems. We have to be prepared, and with the creation of Ohio’s Cyber Reserve we will be ready to fight back. By unanimously passing this legislation, Ohio is a big step closer to where we need to be as we get ready for the 2020 elections, and protect Ohio’s critical infrastructure.” said LaRose. "I want to thank Speaker Householder for his strong support in getting this legislation swiftly passed through the House.”
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ON SB 52:
- Empowers the Secretary of State and Ohio National Guard to both better enhance resilience to cyber-attacks of our election systems and improve responsiveness if such an attack would occur.
- Incorporates a Chief Information Security Officer into the Secretary of State’s office to put a laser-focus on enriching technological election security efforts both in our office and in all 88 counties.
- Requires the Secretary of State to have a seat on the Ohio Homeland Security Advisory Council.
- Requires post-election audits by county Board of Elections to better ensure the accuracy of the results.
- In January of 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated Election Infrastructure as part of the nation's critical infrastructure.
- A similar bill was championed by then State Senator LaRose in the last General Assembly.