Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Banking woes send consumers looking for safer alternatives, some Indiana communities resist a dollar chain store "invasion," and a permit to build an oil pipeline tunnel under the Great Lakes is postponed.


Republicans say it is premature to consider gun legislation after the Nashville shooting, federal officials are unsure it was a hate crime, and regulators say Silicon Valley Bank was aware of its financial risks.


Small towns respond creatively to their sometimes hidden housing and homelessness crisis, a new national weather prediction system expected next year will help close the gap between urban and rural forecasting as severe weather events increase, and more rural communities can apply for a CIRD design project to boost economic development.

Ohio SOS Launches New Election Investigation Unit


Thursday, October 6, 2022   

Instances of voter fraud are few and far between, but Ohio election officials want to ensure voters have confidence in the integrity of the system.

Frank LaRose, Ohio's Secretary of State, is launching a new Public Integrity Division to consolidate the office's current investigative work into campaign finance, voter registration, election law and cybersecurity irregularities.

LaRose explained his office lacks a dedicated team of professional investigators, and those tasks often fall upon local county boards of election.

"Elections administrators responsible for training poll workers and arranging voting locations and mailing out absentee ballots could tomorrow be asked to put on the investigator's hat and do an investigation," LaRose pointed out. "Naturally, that's not their skill set, and it's not what they're trained to do."

Some 31 contests in Ohio have ended in ties since 2020, with many others decided by a single vote. LaRose argued strengthening investigative capabilities will give voters greater confidence in a secure election system. The Secretary of State's Office has referred more than six dozen potential voter-fraud cases this year to local prosecutors. Democrats have criticized Republican LaRose for "wasting taxpayer dollars on a problem that doesn't exist."

The new division starts operations one day before Ohio's voter registration deadline of Oct. 11. LaRose noted a large number of absentee ballot requests are coming in, and voter registrations recently topped eight million.

"We're always working to encourage voter registration, but we also make sure that the rolls stay accurate," LaRose asserted. "So, it kind of ebbs and flows. We remove deceased voters from the rolls on a monthly basis; we make sure that people get removed from the rolls when they move out of state. So, going over eight million is something that we're really proud of."

He is also encouraging Ohioans to assist on Election Day. Ohio has close to 4,000 polling locations open for more than 12 hours, staffed by more than 50,000 volunteers.

"I always tell people, 'Think about how big Ohio Stadium is. If you're watching a Buckeyes game. That's half the seating capacity of that stadium just in poll workers.' Half of them are Republicans, half of them are Democrats, all of them are patriots that do this work of running elections," LaRose remarked. "And we need more people all the time."

Ohio has poll-worker recruitment initiatives targeting high school seniors, veterans, attorneys and others. LaRose also encouraged companies to give employees a day off work to volunteer, or nonprofit groups to create a fundraiser where volunteers donate their poll-worker pay to a charity.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

get more stories like this via email
California is home to banks of all sizes, including 36 Minority Depository Institutions and 111 Community Development Financial Institutions. (Syda Productions/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank has put a spotlight on the safety and stability of the U.S. financial system. Now…


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced an 18-month delay in permitting a controversial oil-tunnel construction project under the Great Lakes…

Social Issues

Advocacy groups said they are concerned about the lack of accountability surrounding Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's $388 million proposal to staff schools …

There are more than 7,004 certified nurse midwives currently employed in the United States, according to Zippia. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

The Iowa House has passed a measure to establish a licensing board for midwives. Iowa is one of 15 states currently without such a program, often …

Social Issues

By Jazmin Murphy for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Brett Peveto for North Carolina News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-…

Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …


Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021