Ohio’s top election official rejects allegations of fraud

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A spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the office refused to be dragged in last week when a fellow Republican reiterated former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated fraud allegations and called for a review of the 2020 election in Ohio.

But the state’s top electoral officer is not going to condemn Trump or say whether he will support the former president when he runs again in 2024. And despite claiming that “Ohio is easy to vote and hard to cheat,” LaRose would not comment on restrictions that forced voters in large circles over the past year to wait hours to cast early ballots.

Former state treasurer Josh Mandel is one of many Republicans eager to take on the Trump cloak in the race to succeed US Senator Rob Portman, who is also Republican.

Trump has lied relentlessly about his 7 million votes lost in the 2020 election. His challenges have failed more than 60 court cases and repeated reviews of voting in states where competition has been stiff have confirmed the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s win.

Even a very partial “audit” of the Arizona results last week confirms Biden’s victory there. But that didn’t stop Trump from doing so lie about it too.

Republican officials are now trying to get partisan reviews in other states such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that Trump just lost. And Trump even calls for an in Texas, a state that he has easily gained. In response, Governor Greg Abbott is trying to accommodate the former president.

Critics fear that the real purpose of all “trials” is to delegitimize elections in the eyes of tens of millions of Americans, despite real evidence of significant voter fraud vanishingly seldom. False allegations of fraud can also be used to justify election restrictions that Republicans would benefit from, they say.

In order not to be outdone by other GOP politicians seeking Trump’s approval, Mandel increased the stake last week.

“We shouldn’t just check the vote in AZ, WI, MI, PA, GA – we have to check the vote in all 50 states,” he tweeted. “Even in states like OHIO, where Trump won with massive profit margins, he probably won with even bigger profit margins if the Democrat doesn’t cheat.”

Mandel did not respond when asked what evidence he had to support his claim.

LaRose’s office said it did not want to be dragged into the matter when Mandel was asked on Twitter if he claimed the foreign secretary had a hand in conducting a crooked election. And to be clear, there was no evidence of any significant fraud in the 2020 Ohio general election, which Trump won by eight percentage points.

But LaRose will not comment on the number leading to false election claims across the country. That would be Trump, who has long been screaming “fraud” when things don’t go his way.

The former president accused Texas Senator Ted Cruz of fraud when Cruz defeated him in the Iowa Caucuses in February 2016. The same year Trump defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on the electoral college, he said, still without evidence, that the referendum was rigged because Clinton won it by 3 million.

Then, ahead of the 2020 election, Trump repeatedly said that he would only lose: when there was massive fraud.

Despite all the false claims attacking the integrity of the American election, LaRose’s office refused to say this week whether the Secretary of State voted for Trump in 2020 would not say whether the Secretary of State plans to vote for Trump if he runs again in 2024.

“Anyone who claims the Ohio 2020 election was less than the most successful and safest election ever is wrong,” spokesman Robert Nichols said in an email. “Like every election, the 2020 presidential election has already been checked and resulted in an accuracy rate of 99.98%. We are happy to help any Ohioan who is unfamiliar with our security procedures understand the accessibility, accuracy, and safety of conducting the Ohio elections. “

In the midst of a blizzard of false fraud allegations, Republican-led lawmakers have passed dozens of laws and hundreds more passed new hurdles in voting, especially for the poor and minorities. Have Democrats in Congress introduced legislation They say these hurdles will be banned – as well as changes in election administration that would make it easier for a future disgruntled candidate to turn down an election.

In a donation letter on Monday, LaRose said the legislation “will make our elections less secure,” but it did not explain how.

“To be honest, it’s not even about protecting the voice, as they claim and their allies keep reverberating in the liberal media,” the letter said. “It’s about pacifying their progressive base, collecting political points and raising money for their campaigns.”

The letter added, “We fought to make Ohio easy to vote and hard to cheat – because I understand the importance of free and fair elections.”

However, there are serious questions about how easy it was to vote in 2020.

Under a law passed by Republicans in 2006, Ohioans can vote in person earlier, but they are limited to only one voting location per district. In 2020 that meant Hours of queues in large counties like Franklin and Cuyahoga, who – perhaps not coincidentally – tend to vote democratically.

In addition, LaRose limited the number of available ballot boxes in 2020 when many were anxious to avoid polling stations because of the pandemic.

LaRose claimed he didn’t think he had legal authority to allow more than one box per district. But earlier this year, after several judges said he had authority, LaRose said kept the restrictionsays it is a matter for the legislature to decide.

The Foreign Minister has taken further steps that could be viewed as frustrating the will of the electorate.

In 2015, an amendment to the state constitution to limit partisan gerrymandering was passed more than 70% of the vote. Under its provisions, it creates a bipartisan commission to draw legislative districts that would result in a partisan composition similar to the outcome of the recent national elections.

In the last 16 statewide elections, Republicans won an average of 54% of the vote. But as a member of the commission, LaRose voted with a Republican majority for cards that, according to the GOP’s own estimates, would create majorities well over 60%.

The League of Women Voters, the American Civil Liberties Union, and other groups Sue.

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