Voting in-person is also secure, whether you decide to vote at the Early Vote Center or at your polling location on Election Day. The equipment is stored, transported, and set up by well-trained bipartisan teams. Additionally, voting machines produce a paper record for auditing and are not connected to the internet to prevent hacking.
Some voters cast provisional ballots, because of a question about eligibility that needs to be resolved before their vote is counted. If they forgot their ID, for example.
No matter what you may have heard, all provisional ballots are counted, unless the voter fails to address the issue (like showing ID at a later date).
Here is how the counting process is protected.
Ohio election officials begin processing mail-in ballots, verifying that all ballots are eligible to be counted as they are received. When polls close on Election Day, two staff from two different parties will start the tabulation process, and the first results publicized on Election night represent those votes cast through absentee and early voting.
But that is never the final count. Rolling updates on vote tallies will continue as ballots on Election Day are tabulated, and absentee ballots postmarked by November 2, will be counted if they are delivered by November 13. Ohio’s Secretary of State has committed to daily reporting of outstanding absentee totals so that the counting process is transparent.
While you may hear gripes about election fraud, know this: It is exceptionally rare. It is a point that Current Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, and his two immediate predecessors — a Republican and a Democrat — agree on.
But just to be sure, every county is required to conduct post-election audits to ensure accuracy.
But it all starts with you. Do your research at www.Vote411.org, make your voting plan, and follow through. Visit 866OurVote.org or call 866-OUR-VOTE to report problems or request assistance from the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition run by LWVO and our friends.
Now is the time to know your rights, make your voice heard, and keep calm until all the votes are tallied and certified.
Jen Miller is executive director of League of Women Voters of Ohio.