COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted released a statement Monday, attempting to debunk what he calls ‘misinformation’ and ‘misleading claims.’
Husted released the following statement:
“Anytime you have a close election that receives intense local and national attention, like the one held last week for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, there will inevitably be those who seek to sow seeds of doubt about the process and call into question how the election has been administered.
The fact is that what I said last Tuesday remains the case today. That the bipartisan county boards of elections who administered the special election did so with the professionalism that has become the standard in Ohio.
However, to those who are attempting to mislead voters that county election officials are not counting all eligible ballots, or that somehow voter fraud is a problem in this election, I would point out a few facts.
First, I can assure all voters who participated in last Tuesday’s election that all eligible ballots will be counted – no exceptions. It is also important to keep in mind that the results provided on Tuesday are unofficial and the official results will not be available until county boards of elections complete the official canvass, which must be done by August 24.
As to concerns of potential voter fraud, my office has done a lot to clean up the voter rolls. During my tenure, we have removed more than 680,000 deceased voters, reconciled nearly two million duplicate registrations, and now have complete information on over 90 percent of voters – up from just 20 percent when I took office in 2011. As I have always said, while voter fraud exists, it is rare and we hold those who commit it accountable.
Additionally, those who want to engage in spreading a blatantly false narrative wholly detached from reality should find better ways to spend their time. Every candidate that appeared on the ballot this past Tuesday met the legal requirements and earned the right to be a candidate.
In Ohio, we run fair and open elections with integrity because we want voters to have confidence in the outcome of every contest. I am confident that county boards will approach the official canvass and certification of results with the same level of professionalism that they did on Election Day. I am also confident that the final vote count will be accurate and reflect the will of the voters.
To the bad actors out there who want chaos and to erode the people’s confidence in our elections, enough is enough.”
Husted addressed claims that voters 116-years-old or older voted in the election. Ohio law has not always required Ohioans to provide their date of birth when registering to vote. Many voters who originally registered prior to 1974 have placeholder dates entered into the voter database, with 1900 or 1800 being common years used.
Husted says these voters met the registration requirements at the time of registration and remain legally qualified electors.
The Secretary of State’s office is working to resolve the problem that led to uncounted votes being discovered by the Franklin County Board of Elections. Husted’s office says it is confident the incident was a result of human error, and not a conspiracy to impact the race.