Cuyahoga Board of Elections Assures Voters Election Will Be Safe & Accurate
More than 140,000 ballots have been cast in Cuyahoga County so far -- ahead of election day on November 8th. Requests for vote-by-mail ballots from Republicans is up just slightly compared to 2012 and down by 35% for Democrats. County election officials expect some 100,000 fewer votes to be cast during this general election compared to four years ago.
The main message that Board of Election officials want voters to know is that the election process is secure, accurate and transparent.
“Our voting registration system is very secure and has multiple backups,” says Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director Pat McDonald. “Our registration database has never been compromised... Our tabulation computers are completely isolated from the internet or anything else that would expose them to potential hacking. Votes are counted in the open with complete transparency and political balance.”
McDonald says there will be more law enforcement patrolling polling sites throughout Cuyahoga County than in previous elections. He’s more concerned about disruptions, threats, and intimidation on this election day than general elections in the past twelve years, but McDonald says, he doesn’t expect any problems on November 8th.
“From what we’re hearing -- the chatter in the streets and the social medias being monitored by the sheriff’s department and the FBI and Homeland Security for us and other counties across the state -- we are not finding any organized chatter out on social media that would cause some alarm out there that could be disruptions.”
McDonald says the police “impact unit” which was trained to handle disruptions during the Republican National Convention will be ready to be deployed if necessary. He adds that only poll observers recognized by state law will be allowed inside.
“I have been contacted by a few Donald Trump supporters that have asked or have told me that they have been appointed as observers by the Trump campaign. But I have made very clear that they are not allowed in the polling locations. They are not official observers.”
Voters whose names may have been purged due to inactivity may still cast a provisional ballot. And for those who want to share their polling experiences on social media, yes, you can legally take a picture of your ballot, but not if it’s been filled out.