To the editor:
For the past 10 years, Ohio law has required that every ballot must have a paper record that can be hand-counted and audited. This is one of many safeguards that assure votes are counted as the voter intended.
Based on settlement of a lawsuit brought by the League of Women Voters of Ohio, every county board of elections is required to prepare an Election Administration Plan before every general election. The plan details preparations for every aspect of the election and is reviewed after each election to correct any problems before the next election.
State law requires that all aspects of elections are administered by a Republican and a Democrat working together. On Election Day, each vote center is staffed by an equal number of Democrat and Republican poll workers. BOE staff members are also bipartisan; the director and deputy director must be of opposite political parties. Board members must be two Republicans and two Democrats.
Ballot security is assured by this two-by-two requirement. At the end of Election Day, bipartisan poll workers count the ballots cast in their center, sign the results, and post on an external wall a copy of the paper record from each voting unit.
A Democrat and a Republican drive together to deliver the ballots; at the BOE, ballots are stored in a room secured with two locks, one controlled by the director and the other by the deputy director. This bipartisan procedure is followed 10 days later when validated provisional and absentee ballots are counted and when there is any recount or audit.
Any Ohio voter who is concerned about the integrity of the election can volunteer to be a poll worker on Election Day and observe the protections that are built into the system.
Do not allow anyone to discourage you from voting. Register for the November election by Oct. 11. Check the secretary of state’s website to be sure your registration is correct, with your current address. Public library staff can help you do this.
The League of Women Voters urges every citizen to make your voice heard and vote.
Linda Gates, President, League of Women Voters of the Oberlin Area
Alison Ricker, Co-President, League of Women Voters of Ohio