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Ohio Election Officials Say It's Easy to Vote, Hard to Cheat

More than 1 million voters in Ohio already have cast a ballot in the November election. (kafka4prez/Flickr)
More than 1 million voters in Ohio already have cast a ballot in the November election. (kafka4prez/Flickr)
November 3, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office is assuring Ohioans that it's easy to vote and hard to cheat despite recent concerns highlighted in the media about voter security.

And Ohioans can vote early in person or by absentee ballot up until Nov. 8, or at the polls on Election Day.

Joshua Eck, a spokesman for Secretary of State Jon Husted, says voters can rest assured that election officials have been shoring up voting security for quite some time.

"Everything from making sure that your ballot is only handled by a bipartisan team, with at least one Democrat and at least one Republican, to making sure that our networks are secure and that cyber security is not going to be an issue on Election Day," he states.

The National Guard's cyber protection unit is working to help secure computer systems. Additionally, Eck notes voting machines have tamper-proof seals, and in the case of a problem, additional paper ballots will be available at the polls along with a paper backup of voter registration information.

Voter intimidation has also been a concern raised by some campaigns, but Eck notes Ohioans already have been voting for three weeks and there have been no issues at the polls.

Ohio does allow election observers, who Eck explains are appointed by political parties or candidates to ensure the process is running as it should.

"You actually have to take an oath of office as an observer on Election Day before you start serving,” he points out. “And then your role is strictly to be there to observe. You're not there to interfere.

“You're not there to question voters. You're not there to question someone's eligibility to vote. You're there to observe."

Eck says as of last Friday, more than 1 million Ohioans already had cast ballots.

"There certainly is some enthusiasm,” he says. “We're a little bit behind where we were in 2012, but we're right about on par.

“2012 was a record year where 1 in 3 Ohioans cast a ballot early in Ohio, and so early voting has become a great option. "

On Election Day, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH