Security Directive 3.0 - Ohio Leads the Way
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued Directive 2022-38 to the state’s 88 county boards of elections. Security Directive 3.0 once again boosts security requirements for Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections, setting the bar even higher and reinforcing Ohio as the nation's gold standard for election security. The directive, building off the success of similar directives in 2019 and 2020, incorporates a 31-point checklist that establishes new security standards for vendors, strengthens physical security requirements, prevents purchasing of equipment from dangerous foreign entities, and modernizes cybersecurity capabilities.
“It’s not unusual for our team to get calls from other states asking, ‘how do you do it?’,” said LaRose. “Ohio has established a national reputation among election security experts because we refuse to rest on our laurels. Threats are out there every day, both foreign and domestic, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure our boards are ready.”
Summer Election Official Conference
This week, election officials from each of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections traveled to Columbus for the Annual Summer Elections Conference hosted by Secretary LaRose. Election officials conducted breakout sessions boosting their knowledge of ballot proofing, constituent outreach through social media, cybersecurity, and much more. The election teams also heard from Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel who spoke about teamwork in difficult times. Director Jen Easterly of the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency also updated them on the cyberthreat landscape and the work being done on the national level to protect critical election infrastructure.
The conference also recognized individuals who went above and beyond the call of duty. This year's award winners are listed below:
- Board of the Year: Pickaway County Board of Elections
- Republican Precinct Election Official of the Year: Steven Greaf, Lorain County
- Democrat Precinct Election Official of the Year: Jennifer Hinch, Montgomery County
- Pat Wolf Election Official of the Year - Republican: Jeff Matthews, Stark County
- Pat Wolf Election Official of the Year - Democratic: Brian Sleeth, Warren County
- Best Use of Social Media: Williams County Board of Elections
- National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) John Lewis Youth Leadership Award: Emily Starkey, Portage County
- Defender of Democracy Award: John Howard, Union County
Short-sighted and Delayed Activist Court Ruling
This week, Secretary LaRose issued a directive to the Ohio county boards of elections that were impacted by the Ohio Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision to allow additional Democratic candidates who did not meet the legal deadline to appear on the August 2 primary election ballot.
Oddly, the Supreme Court chose to delay their order until more than a week after voting began for military and overseas voters. Therefore, these voters from Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Montgomery, or Perry County with a ballot that is impacted by the litigation will need to receive a supplemental ballot, provided the additional Democratic candidates are certified.
Additionally, by making this decision so close to the start of early voting, the court ignored the significant steps necessary to be ready for both in-person early voting and voting by mail. The short window of time to conduct logic and accuracy testing on voting machines and proofing and printing of new absentee ballots means there is no room for error. Plainly stated, the court’s decision shows blatant disregard for the hardworking, bipartisan election officials and the voters they serve day in and day out.
In response to the court’s order, Secretary LaRose issued the following statement:
“As a veteran, I know first-hand that it’s often difficult for military members to receive and return a ballot within the window of time allowed by law. Ballots have already gone out to those Ohioans living and serving overseas, but the court’s irresponsible ruling now requires county election officials to send them new ballots to accommodate candidates who filed illegal petitions. This ignores the rule of law, sets a terrible precedent, and causes an unnecessary disservice to Ohio voters, especially those serving in our military.
“Ultimately, nearly 1,300 candidates from both parties were able to meet the deadline set in law to get on the August 2 primary ballot. And yet, in a decision the court knew could bring further chaos to an already unprecedented primary election process, concessions were made for six Democrats. It's clear by now that these four justices in the majority are either ignorant of election law and administration or indifferent to the confusion they continue to create.”
August 2nd State Legislative Primary Reminders
The August 2nd Primary Election for State Legislative and Party Central Committee races is underway.
Ohio voters will find the following races on their August 2 primary ballot:
- Ohio House of Representatives
- Ohio Senate
- Democrat/Republican State Central Committee
- Local issues and measures impacting their communities
Important Dates & Deadlines:
- June 17, 2022 – Military and Overseas Voting Began
- July 5, 2022 – Voter Registration Deadline
- July 6, 2022 – Early Voting Begins
- August 2, 2022 – Primary Election Day
Click the images below for the trusted information you need for this election:
Diversity & Empowerment Council
Early in his Administration, Secretary LaRose created the Diversity and Empowerment Council (DEC) consisting of dozens of community and religious leaders. The council serves as the bridge between the Ohio Secretary of State’s office and the culturally diverse communities throughout the state to foster greater collaboration and communication. Thursday, Secretary LaRose met virtually with the council to discuss outreach for the August 2nd state legislative primary election.
In Case You Missed It
COLUMBUS — Ohio’s Aug. 2 primary election for state legislative and party central committee candidates officially kicked off June 17 when military and overseas ballots were mailed out to Ohioans stationed or working abroad.
Because Ohio will hold two primaries roughly three months apart this year, the challenge of recruiting the poll workers needed to administer the primary is expected to be more demanding.
On Thursday, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose helped expand Ohio’s poll worker recruitment efforts by notifying the state’s 88 boards of elections that 17-year-olds who have completed their junior year in high school are eligible to serve as poll workers in the Aug. 2 primary. Prior to the guidance issued yesterday, there was ambiguity as to whether a student was considered a senior upon the immediate conclusion of their junior year or upon entering their senior year in the fall. Yesterday’s guidance provides the boards with an additional option available to meet their poll worker needs.
Election security and accuracy are a hot topic these days. But here in Ohio, Secretary of State Frank LaRose has announced we have nothing about which to worry when it comes to the job done by our county elections officials.
Upon completion of the county boards of elections’ post May 3 audits, the accuracy rate for the primary has been determined to be 99.9%. Certainly voters can be confident their voice is being heard.
“The remarkable heavy lifting that Ohio’s county boards of elections have done over the past two years should never be taken for granted,” LaRose said. “Amid uncertainties brought on by covid, lockdowns, and the shifting tides of redistricting litigation, Ohio’s boards of elections continue to rise to any occasion and deliver excellence to Ohio voters.”