The Ohio Votes Count Act

Ohio State Representatives Bob Peterson and Bernie Willis have introduced landmark legislation that would greatly improve the accuracy of Ohio’s voter rolls. Here is our analysis of the problem and the solution. 


Ohio’s voter rolls are riddled with errors. The errors range from simple misuse of punctuation characters to more serious problems like allowing deceased voters to remain on the rolls. There are over 1,000,000 errors among Ohio’s 8,000,000 registered voters. These errors are documented in reports posted on this website.


While Ohio law expects accurate voter rolls, there are not specific procedures in law to address the errors. Current law specifies eligibility requirements to vote like age, residency, and citizenship, but the current process of auditing voter rolls is insufficient to catch the numerous errors. Furthermore, computer security standards do not exist in Ohio law and the federal law is based on outdated 2005 voluntary guidelines. A clear, comprehensive, uniform statewide policy is required. 


County and state election officials by-and-large are excellent at the complex job of running elections. However, election officials are not computer security or database experts, nor should we expect them to be. Meanwhile our election systems have become heavily dependent on computer technology. Election computer systems based on outdated technology have allowed a vast number of errors, duplicate registrations, inactive registrations, dead voters, and other issues to persist in our voter rolls. Nobody would tolerate a bank statement with obvious errors. Neither should Ohioans tolerate error-ridden voter rolls. Our election officials need better tools to help them identify and correct errors. Ohio needs modernized computer security standards for all of our electronic voting systems. Counties need an alternative when systems fail to meet these standards.  


House Bill 472 is landmark legislation that requires cyber security reviews of voting systems before they may be certified. It sets forth standards for future voter registration databases that will verify the eligibility requirements are met prior to registering voters. It enhances regular screening of the state and county voter registration databases to highlight records with errors and ineligible voters so county boards can investigate and make corrections. It requires an independent audit of the voter registration database and increases transparency by requiring publication of election reports.

Call your state legislators today and ask them to support and co-sponsor HB 472!
Not sure what to say?
Click here to see the bill summary.