Board of Elections (BoE) Update: Anthony Saadey (right), BoE Deputy Director, provides insight on how the Voter Purge and Hacking impacts Delaware County,
The official name of the “voter purge” is the General Voter Records Maintenance Program. A recent Supreme Court ruling authorized local Boards of Election to reinstate a process that started in 2015.
This July, our office mailed a “Last Chance” Notice to 3,008 voters who had been mailed a similar notification in 2015. At that time, the criteria were no voter activity from 2012 to 2014 (included two federal elections). The Notice informed the voter that if they wished to remain on the voter rolls, they were required to either return the completed Confirmation Notice or have some form of voter activity within the next four years. Between 2015 and 2019, no voters were purged, but those receiving the notice did have the opportunity to update their voting record.
The notice mailed in 2019 provided these voters an additional last chance to remain registered either at their current address or at a new address. As of today, our office has received completed “Last Chance” notices back from 87 voters (slightly less than 3%), who have either confirmed their address or stated they have moved within the state of Ohio and provided an updated registration address.
This process is important in order to maintain accurate voter rolls. The number of registered voters affects multiple aspects of running an election, including determining the amount of equipment we purchase, the number of precincts in our county, how many Precinct Election Officials we assign to a location, as well as voter turnout (Delaware County consistently ranks higher than most counties in Ohio).
Concerns of voter fraud, voter suppression, and system hacking often dominate the conversation when discussing elections today. Recent headlines have reported voting machines that are hacked in two minutes. The process described is not likely to occur in Delaware County, due to several precautions we have in place here.
Delaware County does not use the equipment cited in the article and our machines are never unguarded and vulnerable as in the example. All voting machines in the state of Ohio are required to be sealed with tamper evident seals. Precinct Election Officials at the polls are trained to report any machines with seals tampered with or broken to the Board of Elections office and take those machines out of service. In addition, Ohio law requires that no voting equipment can ever be connected to the internet, including the computers used to program the machines.
Voting equipment used by the Board of Elections is only half of the equation when it comes to election security. The human element is also crucial, and our employees AND vendors must pass secure background checks.
You can be part of protecting election
security and building confidence in our system by serving as a poll worker. For
the November election, we will recruit and train nearly 1,000 Election
Officials, half of them Democrats. This is also a very informative way to
witness the actual machinery of democracy and participate in the election
process. Please call Amy Murphy (740-833-2096) today and do your part to help
protect the vote!
– Anthony Saadey