Ohio Sec. of State shows off new voting machine, talks Russian election interference

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — By the end of the day, most Ohio State Fair attendees can tell you their favorite part of the fair as well as their favorite fair food.

Now, they can make sure their favorites get the recognition they deserve.

Inside the Bricker Building, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and his two young daughters voted for their favorite fair attraction and food using a brand new voting machine purchased by Franklin County.

“Folks can come out and vote on whether they prefer the butter cow or a different part of the fair,” LaRose said. “It gives a chance to familiarize people with the new voting machines, so it takes away any level of intimidation people may have about it. They realize how easy and intuitive the new voting machines are to use and that’s one of the reasons why we have them out here today.”

That new machine is one way Ohio is fighting back against election interference.

LaRose said that with predictions that Russia will try very hard to interfere again with our elections, the state is at the forefront of election security, and his office has put out a new directive.

“In fact, we are hearing from other secretaries of state around the country,” LaRose said. “They are calling our office and asking for a copy of that directive because they want to try to emulate it. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been pointing to it as an example of how to do it, and it involves a number of things, from the hardware side such as making sure we have intrusion detectors at every county board of elections. It’s sort of a burglar alarm so that we know if an entity is trying to inject malicious code, for example, into their server. There is also the human side of it, such as training our board of elections staff on setting secure passwords and making sure we know how to spot a fishing attack.”

LaRose said they are also doing background checks on all staff members and vendors, adding the Russians are trying to undermine our elections, so it’s important to secure the elections process.

People can also register to vote at the Secretary of State’s booth.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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