CLEVELAND — Inside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections warehouse vote by mail ballots were being processed on this special election eve under the watchful eye of not just the BOE's director but the Secretary of State and a delegation from Washington including Congressman Dave Joyce and Congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois.
"We're doing a 'Faith in Elections' project as part of our House Administration Committee in Washington that I lead for the Republicans," said Rep. Davis. "To be able to come here and see what's working in Ohio is really a testament to the hard workers, both Republicans and Democrats that they have not just here at Cuyahoga County Elections office but throughout the great state."
The three also taking part in Faith in Elections roundtable at Tri-C where they spoke against efforts in Washington to nationalize the elections process.
"Truly it's a state's rights issue that's not partisan, that's the Constitution," said Northeast Ohio Congressman Dave Joyce. "I'm always proud to say that in our state Secretary of State Frank LaRose ran a tremendous election. There's no problems, there's no issues and it's because of the bi-partisan manner in which these are conducted. And as a former prosecutor and having been the lawyer for the Board of Elections, I know how important that is."
Polls show the three Republicans may need to reach voters in their own party when it comes to restoring faith in the elections process with a large number of Republicans still believing the 2020 elections results were rigged.
"This is the reason why we're doing this tour," said Davis. "But the bottom line is faith in elections or lack thereof didn't start just in this election cycle. It wasn't too long ago, I believe 2004, when you had Democrats in Washington question the results of the Ohio election for George W. Bush. This isn't new, unfortunately with social media and that helping to boost up this discussion about we should not have faith in America's elections makes our job harder but we're going to keep coming to educate folks on what it means to cast a ballot, how each and every one of the employees at every Board of Elections in Ohio makes sure that those numbers of ballots cast match the numbers of voters who actually requested a ballot."
Leading into the 2020 election LaRose joked with us in sharing the Election official's prayer.
"Lord whoever wins, let them win big," LaRose said.
Former President Donald Trump did win big, by eight points sparing the state the scrutiny that we saw in states with narrower margins like Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Ohio's early voting options are far more liberal in terms of hours and days of early voting than many other states so if Ohio is an example would they support other states following our lead?
"Well let's leave it up to the states," Davis said. "Ohio is doing so great because you have the ability to put together bipartisan election solutions that work in Ohio and at the same time I think what we have to do is take what's working in Ohio and look at areas where a bipartisan approach may work better."
As for the special election set to take place Tuesday, LaRose said everything from their end is good to go.
"Unfortunately we suspect we're going to have a relatively low turnout and so this is that reminder get out and make your voice heard. If you've got an absentee ballot sitting on your kitchen table you've got to get it down to your Board of Elections by 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. If you haven't voted yet make sure you get out to the polls on Election Day and cast your ballot," he said.