On October 14, Secretaries of State Jocelyn Benson (D-MI) and Frank LaRose (R-OH) joined GU Politics for a conversation about mail-in voting and how COVID-19 has influenced our election processes in 2020. As co-chairs of the elections committee of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Secretaries Benson and LaRose shared the different tactics states are deploying to protect Americans’ right to vote and uphold the integrity of our elections. The conversation was moderated by GU Politics Executive Director Mo Elleithee.
Secretary LaRose dismissed claims of possible fraud from mail-in and absentee ballots, noting that Ohio has “been doing absentee voting for almost 20 years” and that every voter must prove their identity multiple times in the absentee ballot request process. This, combined with the ability for voters to track their ballot, has kept the process extremely secure in Ohio and other states. Secretary Benson said that while the pandemic has been a difficult obstacle to overcome, “the biggest challenge has been partisan politics.” She also praised bipartisan cooperation among Secretaries of State across the country.
Both Secretaries spoke at length about the unique challenges of administering an election in 2020. Secretary LaRose concurred saying “Secretaries of State should wear a referee’s jersey” when administering elections but was confident in the preparations made by Secretaries of State around the country.