Ohio Secretary of State Looks to Identify Areas for Improvement in Ohio Elections

One week after another successful statewide election, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is taking action to keep Ohio ahead of the curve.

Beginning immediately, the secretary of state’s office will work with Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections to conduct an after-action review (AAR) of the statewide 2022 midterm election to evaluate overall performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

“Our elections officials are the best in the nation, and they once again managed a very successful statewide election last Tuesday, but leadership demands constant improvement,” LaRose said.

As a veteran of the U.S. Army and a current member of the U.S. Army Reserve, LaRose began utilizing AARs in the secretary of state’s office during his first term in 2019. This is a discipline LaRose has implemented ever since, following each election.

According to the U.S. Army, AARs “provide a learning-focused method to assess performance and analyze failures or possible improvements to future events.”

According to LaRose, past reviews have resulted in important improvements in the Ohio election process such as post-election audit requirements, physical and cybersecurity enhancements, and boosting election-night reporting efficiency.

“This is a discipline I learned in the Army, and I believe it’s a critical step in evaluating every mission with a focus on becoming the best we can be. That’s how we keep Ohio’s elections the gold standard,” LaRose said.

Although no Ohio counties reported any major problems with the voting process on Election Day, a few counties had isolated equipment issues or longer than anticipated wait times due to longer-than-average ballots. LaRose says he will work with the boards of elections in order to determine how to mitigate the issues, enhance the voter experience, and strengthen Ohioan’s confidence in the electoral process.

“I learned in the military that no operation large or small is complete without an AAR of what happened and what lessons learned can be captured and actioned to improve performance in the future. This is a discipline and a culture change I have instituted in my own office after every election, and I’ve actively encouraged boards to do AARs now for a few years. I’ve asked my team to assist the boards with the same type of analysis of this election,” LaRose said.

The AAR results and recommended best practices moving forward will be shared as part of the Summer Election Officials Conference in June hosted by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Frank LaRose” by Frank LaRose. Background Photo “Voting Booths” by Tim Evanson. CC BY-SA 2.0.



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