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For Next Election, Ohio Officials Focus on Improving Polling Locations

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Thursday, November 17, 2022   

On the heels of the midterm election, state officials say they are now focused on improving voters' experience at polling locations.

No Ohio counties reported significant problems with the voting process on Tuesday, but a few polling locations were plagued by equipment issues and longer-than-expected wait times because of higher-than-average turnout.

Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State, said he plans to work with county boards of elections to assess what can be done to mitigate issues and upgrade in-person voting next time around.

"We're going to be working with county boards of elections on things like the allocation of voting machines," LaRose pointed out. "But also the layout and the design of a polling location to get better throughput so that voter experience is much more convenient."

Across eighty-eight counties, workers continue to process absentee and provisional ballots. LaRose explained results are unofficial until they are certified, and noted the official canvass will be completed in the coming weeks.

LaRose emphasized the numbers show more Ohioans are utilizing early and absentee voting.

"Having this record-breaking number of early and absentee votes is really just validation that Ohioans like the choices," LaRose asserted. "And they realize that they're both secure and convenient."

He added his office's misinformation team, which began its work in 2019, worked to combat false information on social media, so voters were not tricked into going to different polling locations or mislead in other ways about the voting process.

"It's like whack-a-mole, right, going after individual instances of false information," LaRose acknowledged. "But we try to identify the ones that are likely to catch on and spread like wildfire."

The state's misinformation team will be back in full force for the next election. Ohioans head to the polls again in 2024, the nation's next presidential election.

Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.


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