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All But Eight Ohio Counties Have Passed Election Security Checks

Secretary of State Frank LaRose and board of elections officials at his press event on February 5, 2020.
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Secretary of State Frank LaRose and board of elections officials at his press event on February 5, 2020.

Franklin County is among the 90% of Ohio counties considered compliant with the Secretary of State’s order to improve election security. Just eight counties are considered incomplete, with two weeks until voters start casting early ballots for the March presidential primary.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose said 80 county boards of elections have passed a 34-point security checklist he developed last year.

Hamilton, Ottawa and Warren Counties will meet those requirements within a week, and Carroll, Holmes, Trumbull and Clark Counties are working on it. 

The remaining county, Van Wert, is considered noncompliant and will have to check in with LaRose’s office once a week.

“We are placing the Van Wert County Board of Elections under administrative oversight,” LaRose says.

Additionally, LaRose said a Coshocton County board member has been asked to resign for refusing to comply with the security directive. 

That 34-point checklist includes background checks and training for election workers, migrating to .Gov domains and installing intrusion detectors on servers.

LaRose said those break-in alarms are especially important. He noted that some counties have put those digital alarms the head of the county’s digital infrastructure.

“In which case, the board of elections is now helping to safeguard the rest of the county as well by detecting any kind of nefarious activity that could be occurring," LaRose said.

In November, a server alarm in LaRose’s office caught an attempted intrusion from a Russian company. He announced a chief information security officer for his office last month.

Early voting for the March presidential primary starts on February 19. Absentee voting for military and overseas residents began on January 31.