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LaRose Statement on the Senate’s Failed, Partisan Attempt to Federalize Elections

Today, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose released the following statement following Senate Democrats’ most recent failure to advance legislation attempting to federalize election administration:

By any conceivable metric, in 2020, Ohio ran its most secure, inclusive, and successful election in state history. Despite the perfect storm of the Covid-19 pandemic and an intensely competitive presidential election, Ohio achieved historic highs in voter turnout, ballots cast, absentee ballot returns, and the number of registered voters. Ohio wasn’t alone in its success. As a nation, voter turnout in 2020 was the highest it’s been in 120 years, and 94 percent of eligible Americans said it was easy to vote.

Ohio’s success is in no small part due to the collaborative bipartisanship that is required throughout the process of administering elections. Equal numbers of Republican and Democratic election officials work together to hold each other accountable and inspire a sense of confidence and legitimacy among the electorate.

We should ask ourselves why liberal elites in Washington want so desperately to do away with a system that has allowed for record voter turnout while keeping the vote secure. Why are they willing to ignore issues like record inflation, a slumping economy, an international crisis in eastern Europe, and a global pandemic -- all in a vain attempt to grab power by circumventing the rules when they don’t have enough votes to get their way?

It’s simple. They want more power. That power comes from shifting important election administration decisions from bipartisan election officials in Ohio and giving it to unelected bureaucrats in Washington DC. Their partisan scheme upends longstanding state voting practices that will throw those elections into chaos. Their plan would be a radical departure from an election system that has allowed more people than ever before to make their voices heard while preserving the integrity of our elections so voters are confident in the process.

I applaud today’s bipartisan opposition to this disastrous attempt to circumvent Senate rules and precedent. I’ve long believed that improvements to election administration are best done when Republicans and Democrats work cooperatively and without regard to partisan advantage. I stand by that belief.

Over the past two decades, Ohio has made changes in election administration to improve and modernize the system, making it more accessible to voters and more secure from voter fraud. We’ll continue innovating because that’s what leaders do. Because of the U.S. Senate’s actions today, those decisions will continue to be made by the very elected officials who are accountable to Ohio voters.

Election Facts

Voting is More Accessible Than Ever Before

  • The 2020 general election saw the highest turnout in 120 years.
  • According to a Pew poll, 94% of American voters said it was easy to vote in the 2020 general election.
  • Ohio broke the state’s all-time record for voter turnout with nearly six million votes cast.
  • Ohio also broke the state’s all-time record for early and absentee voting with 58.6% of Ohioans taking advantage of the state’s four weeks of early voting.

How the Democratic Plan Fails the American People

  • Allows for the seizing of control over election administration decisions from bipartisan state and local election officials and placing those powers in the hands of the unelected bureaucrats at the Department of Justice with no checks and balances.
  • Imposes same-day voter registration, creating administrative hurdles for local election officials and election integrity vulnerabilities.
  • Dramatically restricts states’ ability to maintain accurate voter rolls, a vital process to ensuring ineligible voters do not cast ballots.
  • Circumvents the state legislative process by requiring approval by Washington DC bureaucrats for any changes to state election laws.
  • Forces taxpayers to fund congressional campaigns by creating a 6:1 funding match for small-donor contributions of $200 or less.
  • Further micromanages states by mandating the time, hours, and location for which each election occurs.
  • Mandates drop boxes without any security requirements, opening the door for election integrity violations such as the damaging of ballots, fraud, and ballot harvesting.
  • Makes changes to legal standards that would make it extremely difficult for states to defend themselves against meritless litigation filed by advocacy organizations to void state laws that protect election integrity.

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Media Contact

Rob Nichols
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