COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is backing a bill he said is the first of its kind in the country: legislation that would modernize and clarify election data retention.

LaRose called the proposed bill the first effort to address what he calls the “antiquated system” in 60 years.

“This is another example of Ohio leading the way,” he said. “It’s all about making sure that the public is empowered with accurate data so they can look at how elections are run and have confidence in knowing that when the election is over, that the true voice of the people was heard.”

The proposed legislation is Senate Bill 71, sponsored by Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green), and is being called the DATA Act.

“The DATA Act, in addition to the laws I wrote to require a photo ID to vote and, with the help of Secretary LaRose, enact some of the most stringent post-election auditing measures in the country, continues to give Ohioans the transparency and trust in their elections that they’ve demanded,” Gavarone said.

The bill will also create an office of Data Analytics and Archives within the Secretary of State’s office. LaRose said the new division will publish election data and results online, allowing for full transparency both immediately following an election and, over time, for year-to-year comparisons.

“When people are confident in their elections, when they know there is efficacy in the ballot box, when they know that their voice will be heard and it will make a difference in how their state or nation is governed, they’re more likely to participate,” LaRose said. “Something like this can really help drive increased participation and confidence at the same time.”

LaRose said this does not have anything to do with the speed of the count.

He also said the new division will result in hiring a few extra people, but the cost will likely be minimal.