It is important that all Ohioans have the facts about election procedures so you know what is being done to make Ohio a state where it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat.
FACT: Since 1977, the Ohio Constitution has required that Ohioans register to vote where they live at least 30 days before Election Day in order to cast a ballot. You can mail a completed voter registration form to your county board of elections or drop it off in person. If you are registered and simply need to update your address, you can use a voter registration form or do it online.
We encourage all eligible Ohioans to participate in the upcoming election. For the first time ever, my office mailed information on how to register to vote to more than 1.65 million Ohioans who are eligible to vote, but are not registered.
FACT: Voting is easy and convenient in Ohio. In fact, you don’t even need to leave home to vote.
No-fault absentee voting (by mail or in person) was passed during my tenure as Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives in 2005. In 2012, I began the practice of mailing absentee ballot requests statewide. Prior to 2012, only voters in some of our 88 counties received absentee ballot applications in the mail. Those who were not on the list this year had notified the U.S. Postal Service of a change of address (meaning they could not have used the addressed application) or had not voted in several years, including the last two federal elections. Anyone who registered to vote or updated their address after the first mailing will receive an absentee ballot application later this month as a part of a second mailing. If you would like an absentee ballot request and didn’t receive one, applications are available at MyOhioVote.com.
The in-person schedule for the 28-day early voting period for 2016 includes weekday evening hours, two Saturdays and two Sundays. This gives Ohioans the tenth most generous schedule in the nation. For a complete listing of days and hours, as well as the location of your county’s early voting location, go to MyOhioVote.com.
Absentee ballots were mailed and in-person voting at your local board of elections began on October 12th.
On Election Day your voting location will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. You can find your assigned polling place, view your sample ballot and get more information at MyOhioVote.com.
FACT: No voter has been purged – the only voters who have been removed are those who have died, requested cancellation after moving out of state, notified a board of elections of a change of address to a different Ohio county, or are no longer eligible to vote under state law. Federal and state law requires us to keep the voter rolls up to date to avoid having deceased and ineligible voters on the rolls. Having clean voter rolls protects your vote and makes Election Day more efficient. From 1981 to 1994, during the terms of two Democratic and one Republican secretaries of state, voter registration was automatically cancelled unless a person voted during a four year period or updated their address. Since 1994, four secretaries of state – both Democratic and Republican alike – have managed the accuracy of the voter rolls using a six-year criteria. No voters were cancelled in 2016 as a result of this long-standing practice. It is easy to check whether or not you are registered to vote by going online at MyOhioVote.com.
FACT: Voter Fraud exists, but it’s rare and it’s a fifth degree felony.
The truth is we put safeguards in place to secure the integrity of the election. Keeping the voter rolls up to date is key. We’ve removed more than 515,000 deceased voters and 1.5 million duplicate registrations and we cross-match with other states to identify voters who may have voted in multiple states.
Ohio is an I.D. state, so if you plan to vote on Election Day, please bring a driver’s license, state I.D. or choose from one of the other alternative forms of identification allowed in Ohio.
Election security is a bipartisan process in Ohio. Local boards of elections are made up of two Democrats and two Republicans.
FACT: Every vote matters. Since 2013, 109 elections of candidates or issues have been decided by one vote or tied. Literally one vote has been the difference in mayoral races and school levies, and with 1,804 local issues and countless candidates on the 2016 ballot, close elections are likely to happen this year.
With nearly a month to cast a ballot, Ohio is one of the easiest states in the nation in which to vote. You as an Ohioan can choose from a number of different ways to participate this election season, so don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Remember, decisions are made by those who show up.
Here is what Husted has said in the media recently about claims of a rigged election.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe
“People have lost faith in their institutions whether it’s politics, media, the justice system. I don’t want them to lose faith in their democracy.”
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
“It’s irresponsible to say the election is rigged. You shouldn’t sow seeds of doubt unless you have some facts to back it up.”
CNN’s Newsroom with Carol Costello
“The idea of widespread voter fraud would require some systemic problem in our system and if there is a systemic problem, please identify it.”
CNN’s Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
“We try to fulfill the goal of making it easy to vote and hard to cheat in Ohio and I know that many of my colleagues who are Secretaries of State around the country feel the same way. Our leaders need to build confidence in American democracy, not undermine it.”
WBNS, 10TV with Scott Light and Tracy Townsend
“People have lost confidence in a lot of the institutions in our country and it’s my job to try to uphold their confidence in our democracy.”
WSYX, ABC6 Evening News
“What we need our leaders to do, whether it’s Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump, is that we need to have them help build confidence in our election, help build confidence in democracy. It actually legitimizes their election as President.”
THE WASHINGTON POST: Election officials brace for fallout from Trump’s claims of a ‘rigged’ vote
“Any time that your comments draw into question the legitimacy of the elections process, they have crossed the line.”
BUZZFEED: Donald Trump’s Allegations of Rigged Election are “Irresponsible” Says Ohio Secretary of State
“I can reassure Donald Trump that I am in charge of elections in Ohio and they’re not going to be rigged. We should not be questioning it or the legitimacy of it.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES: Officials Fight Donald Trump’s Claims of a Rigged Vote
“American elections are, unlike those in many democracies, largely decentralized, rendering the possibility of large-scale fraud extraordinarily unlikely. Further, the balloting in many of the hardest-fought states will be overseen by Republican officials, individuals who would be highly unlikely to consent to helping Mrs. Clinton rig the vote,” wrote Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.
POLITICO: Ohio’s Republican secretary of state calls Trump’s rigged election claims ‘irresponsible’
“We have a bipartisan system of elections. Frankly, it’s the only place you can find Democrats and Republicans working cooperatively together. They work that way in our election system to make sure that the integrity of our election system is upheld, and that people feel good about the process of voting,” Husted said.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Jon Husted says voting is safe in Ohio despite talk of rigged election
“Elections and the vote counting in Ohio are conducted by bipartisan boards of elections in the state’s 88 counties, meaning only an improbable alliance and a virtually impossible-to-keep secret between Democrats and Republicans in all 88 counties could change the election,” wrote Jessica Wehrman and Jack Torry.
CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER: Jon Husted pushes back on Donald Trump and the “rigged” election theory: Ohio Politics Roundup
“I can assure Donald Trump. I am in charge of elections in Ohio, and they are not going to be rigged. I’ll make sure of it… Our institutions like our election system is one of the bedrocks of American democracy. We should not question it or the legitimacy of it. It works very well. In places like Ohio, we make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Husted said.
DAYTON DAILY NEWS: Is the fix in? Trump campaign says election is rigged, supporters agree
“We have made it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We are going to run a good, clean election in Ohio, like we always do.”
CINCINNATI ENQUIRER: Husted to Trump: Election ‘not rigged’
“I can assure him, as a fellow Republican, that it is not rigged… I hope Donald Trump will focus on issues people really care about and not on issues that are not based on fact and undermine confidence in our democracy.”
THE BLADE: Ohio, Michigan officials insist election is secure
“Ohio’s voting is safe for multiple reasons, Mr. Husted said. Among them: voting machines are never connected to the Internet; every vote has a paper trail attached to it; no one is on the voter rolls who is not allowed to vote; the “friends and neighbors” of voters check identifications at the polls, and the media and the public are welcome to watch, he said,” wrote Ignazio Messina.
Husted is Ohio’s 53rd Secretary of State.
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