File-Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose interacts with staff members as they follow the election from Ohio's election command center Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. 

(The Center Square) – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has trumpeted for months how relatively flawlessly the state executed the November election, calling it the most secure and accessible election in Ohio history.

LaRose has been saying for the past week he doesn’t need the federal government inserting itself into the process. Now, he’s getting help from the Ohio General Assembly.

State Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Township, has introduced a resolution calling on Congress to defeat House Resolution 1, which LaRose called a federal takeover of state-run elections.

“Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi wants to California-fy all 50 states’ elections systems and we’re saying no way," LaRose said. "This massive power grab would impose significant and costly mandates eroding election security and sapping voter confidence. Ohio leaders are speaking in a unified voice against this drastic overreach. I want to thank Representative Hall for taking up this important issue and urge his colleagues to support this resolution.”

Called the For the People Act, HR 1 creates automatic voter registration across the country, restores full voting rights to felons, expands early voting, enhances absentee voting and simplifies voting by mail.

U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Maryland, pointed to voter roll purge systems such as those in Ohio and Georgia as something the resolution would prevent.

“On November 3, 2020, Ohio executed our most successful election ever,” Hall said. “We don’t need DC’s chaos in Ohio’s election system. Nancy Pelosi and the DC elite cannot run elections in Ohio better than our own secretary of state and 88 county boards of elections. HR 1 is a simple partisan power grab to Ohio’s bipartisan processes.”

The legislation first was introduced in Congress two years ago with significant Republican opposition.

“Remember, each state election system is unique – shaped by time and trusted by their respective voters," LaRose said. "Forcing uniform standards, procedures and expectations into state election systems, some far different than others and not built for those requirements, is like forcing a square peg into a round hole.”

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.