COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today submitted his response to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity’s request for publicly available voter information, a summary of efforts in Ohio to address voter fraud, and input on ways to improve election integrity.
The letter received from the Commission requested certain voter data if it is publicly available. In Ohio, some voter information is a public record and available to anyone via the Secretary of State’s website. A link to this information was provided to the Commission. Personal voter information, such as the last four digits of a voter’s Social Security number or an Ohio driver license number, is not publicly available and will not be provided.
“We believe the accountability system in Ohio elections can be a model for other states to follow in pursuing the goal of making it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Secretary Husted said. “When the Commission's work is completed, I believe that they will conclude as I have that voter fraud exists, it is rare and we should take reasonable measures to prevent it and hold violators accountable.”
As noted in the letter to the Commission, Secretary Husted is hopeful that the information provided will be used to help educate others about how elections are conducted in each state.
“I trust that in responding to the Commission, the information we are providing will assist you in sharing the facts about the system of elections that are carried out by each of the 50 states.”
The letter to the Commission also outlines Secretary Husted’s efforts to address voter fraud in Ohio. As the first Ohio Secretary of State to compile statewide voter fraud reports, Secretary Husted informed the Commission of his findings related to voter fraud and suppression, as well as non-citizens on the rolls.
“Identifying and addressing any instance of voter fraud, no matter how limited, is important because every vote matters. Over the last four years, Ohio has had 112 elections decided by one vote or tied,” Secretary Husted wrote. “While none of these elections were impacted by the cases of voter fraud we have uncovered, it serves as an example why we as election officials must remain diligent in our efforts to preserve the integrity of our elections.”
Secretary Husted also provided the Commission with two recommendations for strengthening the integrity of our elections. This includes giving states access to the federal database containing non-citizen data for cross matching purposes, which Secretary Husted also sought under the previous administration, and urging Congress to provide funding to states for the purchase of new voting equipment.
In his concluding comments, Secretary Husted urged the Commission to closely review and consider the suggestions being offered and take advantage of the opportunity before the Commission.
“I hope you will strongly consider our recommendations, which are the same recommendations we provided to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration under the Obama Administration,” Secretary Husted wrote. “I encourage you to use the opportunity this Commission presents to assist us in building a more secure system of elections that will build more trust and confidence among voters.”