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Tuesday's Primary Will Test Franklin County's New Voting Machines

Secretary LaRose (right) showing a resident the new machine at National Church Residences in Columbus.
Nick Evans
/
WOSU
Secretary LaRose (right) showing a resident the new machine at National Church Residences in Columbus.

Franklin County will use new voting machines for Tuesday’s primary election, setting up a kind of dress rehearsal for the 2020 presidential election.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose visited a Columbus retirement home on Friday to show off the county’s new voting machines. LaRose, a Republican and former state senator, says the funding came from legislation he helped pass.

“In most counties, they're purchasing new voting machines from a list of very secure and tested voting machines and fielding them throughout the state,” LaRose says.

Amid concerns about election hacking, LaRose emphasizes his point about security.

“They’re never connected to the internet,” he says. “Nor are the pieces of equipment back at the board that they use to scan vote-by-mail ballots or anything. So none of the equipment that’s used to cast a vote or tabulate a vote is ever connected to the internet and that’s something that’s important for people to know.”

The Franklin County Board of Elections refers to the new system as a hybrid where voters will make selections on a touchscreen and receive a physical paper ballot that they can double-check before officially casting their vote.