Despite pandemic, misinformation, LaRose says 2020 election was safe and accessible

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose certified the official results of the 2020 Presidential Election Friday, with results showing not only record-breaking voter turnout but a change in how Ohioans are voting.

Nearly 6 million Ohioans cast their ballot this election, breaking a record set back in 2008. All of Ohio’s 88 counties saw higher voter turnout than in 2016. Almost 60 percent of all votes were cast using early in-person or absentee voting.

Despite positive numbers, LaRose said he would like to work with the General Assembly on allowing online absentee ballot requests and more than one early voting center in each county.

“It’s not an alternative when over 50 percent, close to 60 percent, of Ohioans chose that as their preferred way to cast a ballot and I believe those numbers will continue to stay high,” he said.

As states around the country finalize results, LaRose said it’s important for Ohioans and everyone else to accept and trust them.

“Whether it’s the President, or his team, or anybody else, if you believe election laws were violated, you have not only the right but, really, the obligation to bring that to a court of law,” he said. “But if you’re making claims about so-called ‘widespread voter fraud’ and you don’t have any evidence to back that up, that’s highly irresponsible.”

Up next, Ohio will cast its 18 electoral votes for President Donald Trump on Dec. 14. Ohio’s certified results showed Trump winning 53.2 percent to Joe Biden’s 45.2 percent.

In the future, LaRose said he hopes politics can be taken out of election administration.

“We should have the partisan debates on the issues, but when it comes to elections administration, the fear-mongering that you hear from either the right or from the left is really damaging and it needs to stop,” he said.

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