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line of october 5th 28 days until early.voting begins.and election day is in 56 days.of course it's now officially after.labor day so that also means we got to.put the seersucker suits away and no.more white.shoes of course here to talk today about.our.preparations for election day making.sure that we're all ready to go.absentee ballot requests have gone out.and as you all know.we sent those to 7.8 million registered.voters hopefully.you all have gotten yours and we believe.that.they've all hit at this point but there.may be still a few trickling out but.every registered voter either has or.will soon receive.an absentee ballot request in the mail.lauren and i got ours last week.we promptly filled them out and mailed.them back in and then i actually went to.the franklin county board of elections.uh ballot tracking service and signed up.for an email alert so that they'll email.me once they.once they get my ballot once they get my.ballot request that is.it's important to talk about some of the.common mistakes that voters make when.they're filling these out and so.uh these are things that we have worked.to try to mitigate by redesigning the.form and.improving the layout of the form but.some things.that people do from time to time and.this is what we're hearing from the.boards of elections not necessarily.yet from from this round but in the past.simply forgetting to sign the.application of course.it requires a valid signature um using.today's date instead of your birth date.that's another common mistake that.happens on these forms and so something.else to think about.and of course the the biggest mistake is.waiting too long.to send in your application we're trying.to encourage ohioans to get in.their application right away of course.it's important also.to include your email address and phone.number and that's always been.for in recent years anyway a component.of the form but.one of the reasons why that's so.important is if you do make a mistake.we've directed the boards of elections.now to call you or email you to correct.it in.not too distant past there was a.procedure where they would mail you.something and you have to wait for.for that to get back and by then the the.time may run it now.as long as you put your email address or.cell phone number on there the board can.contact you.electronically they can get the process.underway of getting that remedied.and that's important for people to know.and make sure.that they can get that done we're seeing.a lot of requests coming in and that's a.good thing.a lot of those requests are coming in as.a result of the.statewide absentee ballot request.mailing that we sent out.but we've also heard from a couple.boards of elections that people are.sending in duplicate requests you only.need to send in one.absentee ballot request of course if you.want to know for sure that the board has.gotten your request you can go to.voteohio.gov.go to the website and track your your.ballot you'll see if the board has.received your request and you'll know.of course that that it's in and then i.think a lot of people.too don't realize yet that the ballots.don't go out until.october 6. and so we've had some.questions for people said well you know.i mailed in my abstie ballot request two.weeks ago well of course.according to the ohio revised code those.ballots cannot start going out until.october 6th and so.the message loud and clear should be.submit your ebsta ballot request but you.only need to submit one of those.and don't burden the board of elections.by sending duplicate or triplicate.requests in.it's important to always emphasize the.security of absentee voting the way that.we do it here in ohio.is safe and secure those safeguards have.been.in place for close to 20 years and.that's why ohioans know that they can.trust it.of course there are two separate check.points that happen when you confirm your.identity.the board of elections confirms your.signature and checks the.the identifying information that you.provide.of course you have to put down your name.and address date of birth.one of the acceptable forms of.identification those identifiers are.again.confirmed twice when once when you send.in the absolute ballot request and then.again.when you actually send in your ballot so.it's important to uh to emphasize that.um next up it's important to uh to know.that those absentee ballot request forms.will continue to go out first.our office just sent out 7.8 million but.we're going to do another two rounds of.them because what we want to make sure.of is that everybody that gets.registered to vote between now and.october 5th.has the chance to receive that absolute.ballot request.also know though that other groups will.be sending out absolute ballot requests.and that's completely legal for them to.do.we ask them though to use the official.form provided by the ohio secretary of.state's office and.if they have any questions they should.contact us this means campaigns.political parties ideological groups.whoever it may be.that wants to send out absolute ballot.requests to their universe of people.they should check with us and make sure.that they get the form right.it's an important thing to do and to.make sure that ohioans can.if they receive that form from an.outside group that they have the.information that they're supposed to.have.um again upcoming dates to know october.5th is the voter registration deadline.uh the boards of elections will be open.late that night will be.uh doing the final push obviously.between now and then you've seen a.variety of the different things that.we're doing everything from the.partnership with barber shops and.beauty salons to our work with the ohio.craft brewers association.uh we're working to get as many people.as we can registered in fact.we also were able to get a list together.of what we call ebu.eligible but unregistered and send them.a postcard so we're trying to.to do all we can to get as many people.registered to vote of course that.deadline comes up october 5th.october 6 is when early voting begins.and that's a date that we're all excited.about.excited for ohio to start having the.opportunity to cast their ballots and.then.effectively we are setting october 27th.as the deadline for requesting your ft.ballot as you all know.the law says that you may continue to.request absentee ballots up until the.saturday.before election at noon that's a.terrible idea.uh we're telling everyone that as far as.we're concerned the logistical deadline.the realistic deadline is the 27th of.october and.really should not request nasty ballot.after that because the chances are that.you'll get it on wednesday or thursday.after the election's over.next moving on to postage paid for.absolute ballots we are making.a another push for this this is.something i've been working on.for some time and of course the decision.will now come at the controlling board.meeting on september 14th.this is not a new ask for us this is.late in the cycle and we would love to.have had this.back in april when we first started.asking we've been asking throughout the.summer tried a variety of different.things whether it was to use.cares act dollars or whether it was to.use money from uh.from from the state budget and and then.now of course i've been able to identify.three million out of my office's own.budget.and we're trying this through the.controlling board and i sincerely hope.that they.offer this opportunity to ohioans this.is completely consistent.with what we did in the in the primary.in the primary the decision was made.that because we're having voting in the.midst of a pandemic that we want to.encourage people to vote absentee we.want to make it easy for people to vote.absentee take away.any hesitation or doubt and this is just.a.logical continuation of that same policy.it's something that we absolutely should.do.and obviously doesn't have any impact on.state or federal budgeting it's money.that's coming out of my office's budget.and.money that's actually coming from fees.that that my office has collected.it's also important to mention that this.doesn't have any particular partisan.impact from everything anybody can tell.uh this is something that that once.people have requested their ebsta ballot.uh simply providing the postage so that.there aren't questions about.what how many stamps go on or uh that.kind of thing.and also some people send their ebsta.ballots in without delay.if they have the postage paid envelope.our belief is that they will send it in.sooner we want them to send it in sooner.we don't want these to sit on people's.kitchen tables or.counters for for days and days on end.and one way to encourage people to send.them in sooner of course.is to provide that postage page and.again really no partisan impact.in any particular way also important to.mention that.when we provide postage paid absentee.ballot returns to the secretary of.state's office.it is a statewide endeavor this is.something that's come up a couple times.and.the law right now the law in the state.of ohio.forbids county boards of elections from.including postage paid if you all.remember the history.on that when the legislature enacted.that change there was one county.that was trying to provide postage paid.envelopes and that would have meant that.the other.87 counties don't get that and so the.legislature stepped in to say no.county boards of elections cannot.provide postage paid for abstinent.return envelopes well.at the time the state legislature could.have also prohibited the secretary of.state from doing that but they didn't.because the obvious logic was that if.you're going to do this it has to be.done on a statewide basis not a.county-by-county basis because of equal.protection and.and that kind of thing and so uh it is.clearly within the legal purview of the.secretary of state to provide postage so.long as i can receive that controlling.board.authorization of course an expenditure.in that amount would require.uh does require controlling board.authorization and that's exactly why.we're going for that.another argument that i've heard some.make and i think maybe just.uninformed on this one is to say that if.we provide postage paid it somehow could.slow down the process in fact to the.contrary it will speed up the process.there have been.folks that have said well if it's a.business reply envelope for example.those don't get a postmark.false 100 false business reply mail does.get a postmark i've had others say that.if it's business reply mail it doesn't.move as fast that's false as well those.are treated as first-class postage.i've got that confirmation directly from.the us postmaster general and others.within the u.s postal service but it's.also important to mention that at this.late date.because you know we haven't gotten this.authorization.as early as we should have gotten it if.the state legislature through the.controlling board does authorize this on.september 14th what we're going to be.doing is providing.first-class postage stamps to the boards.of elections i mean at this point.uh it's uh it's too late for printing.envelopes and that kind of thing so we.will just be providing.first-class postage stamps boxes of them.uh.in the roles just like what we're all.accustomed to for those county boards of.elections so clearly.again there is no reasonable argument.against doing this it is a first class.postage stamp it gets the postmark.it moves you know fast through the.postal system because it is first class.and it helps encourage people to return.their absentee ballot.um it's also important to mention that.this is supported by both republicans.and democrats.i know recently a county republican.party.weighed in in support of it there's a.long history on this.when bob bennett was ohio republican.chairman he was a.a longtime supporter of this particular.public policy to require.or to allow postage pay on the return of.absentee ballots.and it's of course supported by the ohio.association of elections officials and.these are the people that know best.these are the men and women who have.devoted their lives to running elections.in ohio this bipartisan group the ohio.association of elections officials is.very supportive of this.and again i think it's important for the.legislature to learn to listen.to the ohio association of elections.officials who.really have one interest and that's.making sure that ohioans can have a fair.election.next poll worker tracking this is.something that.we came up with several months ago the.idea being that we wanted to create.a very transparent situation as it.relates to where we are.bad news doesn't get better with time.and if a county is behind.on their poll worker recruitment efforts.then we need to know that so that we can.surge resources to them.help them out uh so that they can step.up their game and so this is really what.what this is all about.um the idea was that we need the county.boards of elections to have their poll.workers all lined up and.and finalized sooner in the process than.we would in the past.and every county has different needs.candidly.there are certain counties where they.have plenty of republicans but not.enough democrats in some counties where.they have plenty of democrats and not.enough republicans those are things.that people need to be aware of so that.we can help them with their.with their with their poll worker.recruitment efforts that they have going.underway.um this is about encouraging.these counties to contact their poll.workers asap and get them all lined up.and as you've seen.we've had an unprecedented effort.underway for poll worker recruitment.it's been a thing that we've focused on.we've got five very innovative tools.that we have rolled out.these toolkits provide social media.graphics.template letters animations videos gifs.i think posters they can print out.flyers they can print out.but the five basic programs are youth at.the booth for 17 year old poll workers.give a day for democracy which is to.encourage ohio businesses to provide.their employees a day off to be poll.workers.next is second call to duty this one's.near and dear to my heart this is.encouraging.veterans to continue keeping their oath.of enlistment.by serving in a new way as a poll worker.the next one is work a day donate your.pay a lot of charity groups are.struggling to do their traditional.fundraiser because it would involve a.gathering of people and so.uh in in this environment one way to do.a fundraiser is to get a bunch of.members of your non-profit group to sign.up to be poll workers.and then in turn commit to donating.their poll worker salary back to the.institution and then finally.professional licensure a number of.groups out there.have have expressed an interest in this.so far the ohio.supreme court has stepped up and awarded.lawyers continuing education credits.for signing up to be poll workers uh and.the accountancy board has done the same.for cpas and we believe that there will.be others.in short order that will be signing up.as well so again a lot of different.things that we can do on poll worker.recruitment now it's just key for the.boards of elections to use those tools.uh to get out there and do their their.full worker recruiting.if you notice the spreadsheet that we've.made here obviously this is a little bit.too small to see on here but if you go.to our website.you see we break down each category.there's the bare minimum number of poll.workers needed you all have heard me.talk about we need over 35 000 poll.workers that's the bare minimum just to.open the polling locations of course.we've told the boards of elections.that they need to be at 50 percent above.that so they have that reserve.force trained and ready to go and so we.lay out the bare minimum we lay out the.the projected uh what we want to get to.as far as.having that full-fledged reserve force.of poll workers.uh recruited and trained and then we.break it down by county and show how far.along they are and so.it will be evident in the next weeks to.come which county boards of elections.are ready to go and which ones are.lagging behind.and again that kind of transparency and.accountability is important.next you're going to move on to the.public service announcement that we've.created this is.been past practice in ohio as well we.wanted to make sure to get this out.there early we've been working with the.ohio association of broadcasters.and we're encouraging all of your.stations to play this as well.um and as you can see we created just a.very simple message.and sarah would you go ahead and share.that the november 3rd election is.quickly approaching.and ohio secretary of state frank larose.is sending an official abcd ballot.request to every registered voter but.don't wait.with more ohioans creating to both.absentee than ever now is the time to.submit your request.polls will be open on election day but.you can use absentee movies as a safe.and secure way to avoid election day.crowds.make sure you're registered to vote or.get registered.ohio.gov sponsored by the ohio secretary.of state.and the station so you can see we got a.lot of different ideas into that the.main point is to get your fc ballot.request in to get it in.early to not delay of course there's a.voter registration message in there.as well and then there's also a.reinforcement of if you really prefer.in-person voting you've got both early.voting and in-person election day voting.as well.and so expect to see that playing.throughout ohio.and we're going to keep sharing it next.up is.election night and what to expect this.has been a topic of of.great discussion nationally it's.important for.ohioans to understand first of all as.you all know and this is important for.us to emphasize.the unofficial results that we report on.election night are just that.always have been unofficial results.this year they may be a little bit more.unofficial than usual because we know.that we're going to see a record number.of absentee ballots and those absolute.ballots as long as they're legally cast.and postmarked by november 2nd can.continue to be received.at the board of elections up to 10 days.later we know that the boards of.elections then go through the process.for certifying those ballots.and certifying the final result of the.election and so.uh the the numbers will change between.election night and the final.certification that's not a sign of.something nefarious happening in fact.quite the contrary.it's the sign that the system is working.the way it's supposed to.when we say that every voice matters and.so every vote should count that's.exactly what we mean.whether it's one of my teammates former.teammates who's serving abroad.and needs to cast his or her ballot.absentee from a combat zone for example.or whether it's one of our fellow.ohioans who simply waits until the the.very.last minute and sends in their abstine.ballot on november 2nd.we believe that every one of those.deserves to be counted and so they will.be counted as long as they're legally.cast but that means that there will be.a difference between what's reported on.election night and what we report.weeks later it's also important to.mention that ohio has an advantage over.several other states in the way that we.handle these our boards of elections can.begin processing the absentee ballots as.soon as they arrive at the board of.elections and so that means.even beginning october 6th or 7th as.those first wave of absentee ballots.come in.the boards of elections can cut open the.envelope verify the information.check the signature they can flatten.them out which actually.is a process they've got to flatten the.folds out of them and then they can.start scanning them they just don't.tabulate them.in fact in many cases what you're going.to see at 7 45 and 8 as those first.results on election night are those.absentee ballots because.really the the in-person election day.precinct ballots are not even back at.the board of elections they're on their.way back down to the board at that point.and so uh it's important for people to.understand that.uh i've redirected i've directed my team.to reconfigure the way that the election.night reporting website works and i.wanted to be very intentional about this.so let me be clear.our team is redesigning the way our.election night reporting website works.so that we very prominently report the.number of outstanding absolute ballots.so what that's a knowable number.what that means is that on election.night we're going to tabulate results.we're going to release those results.uh we're going to do it in as timely a.way as possible.we're going to be you know i think ahead.of many other states especially those.states that i was just mentioning that.can't even cut open envelopes until.election day.and then once we report those results.whether it's late wednesday night or.or our you know tuesday night late.wednesday morning rather or early.wednesday morning or late tuesday night.we are going to report those results but.we're also going to report the number of.outstanding ballots.and what that means is that there will.be tens probably hundreds of thousands.of absolute ballots that are still.out that we expect to come back at least.some large portion of those we expect to.come back.and we're going to report what that.number is and so it'll be very clear to.everybody that these are.the results that we have so far but it's.not the final result because there's.still a high number.of ballots that are likely out of course.when final results are expected.election night results are always those.unofficial results and the official.results happen.weeks later just over three weeks later.as a matter of fact when we.when we get when we hit the statutory.requirement for when the boards have to.submit those to us.finally on disinformation and this is.something that i think you all hear me.talk about.pretty much every time we have the.chance to get together.this is the season when we all need to.be vigilant we know that we face.foreign adversaries as well as others.that want to spread false information.there are a lot of things on the.internet that are dubious.we try to debunk those when we can.all of you need to be vigilant about.that as well we know that one of the.tactics that foreign adversaries in.particular use is they'll target.credentialed journalists.try to get them to report something.that's false and then they'll use that.as a validation of their false.information and so you all need to be.more vigilant than ever about making.sure that you're not yourself a victim.of disinformation and of course if you.suspect that there is disinformation.occurring.uh pertaining to elections we ask you to.report it to us.report ohio sos.gov is that email.address report.ohiosos.gov this is something that we.take very seriously.and again making sure that accurate.information is available for ohioans is.among.my top responsibilities let me end with.that ohioans have.three really good choices as far as how.they vote this november there are three.really good choices four weeks of early.voting.four weeks of absentee voting and safe.and secure in-person election day voting.all three choices work well.ohioans simply should pick the one that.works best for them.all are secure ohioans should simply.choose the one that they're most.comfortable with.and then they should cast their ballot.and then we will report those results.in as timely a manner as possible and as.you can see.this is something that we take very.seriously so with that happy to take any.questions that you all.may have for me we've got microphones.left and right.go ahead i i wanted to ask.the president has said and also tweeted.the notion of.people should go ahead and cast an.absentee ballot by mail.and then show up on election day i.wanted to get your response on.if that would be allowed in ohio what.ohioans should do.and what your thoughts are on him.pushing this.this notion that that's what ohioans.should do yeah that's not something.ohioans should do.ohioans should know that they're only.going to be allowed to vote once they.shouldn't try to vote multiple times.the boards of elections keep very.diligent track of that once you're sent.an absolute ballot for example that's.annotated uh if you go and vote early.that's annotated and if you were to try.to vote a second time.uh if there's intentionality there may.actually be you know.cause for for criminal prosecution to it.uh it's certainly something that you.shouldn't do you should vote once.you should track your ballot by going to.voteohio.gov and once you.go to vote ohio.gov you can make sure.that the board of elections received.your absentee ballot for example and.then you can rest assured that.you've done your duty and cast your.ballot and at that point sign up to be a.poll worker because you've already voted.and.you can help us out on tuesday november.3rd.just a follow-up on that good morning um.so if an ohio voter should follow that.should follow that advice that the.president gave would their in-person.vote be provisional and then would it.would which one of those votes would be.counted.yeah so the question is if you have.voted.absentee for example and then you show.up for early voting or you show up for.election day voting what would happen is.they would check you in you would show.your id.and it would come up on the pull book.that you had already.voted they would say well according to.this you've already cast an absolute.ballot.if you say oh well okay and turn around.and leave then transactions complete but.if you insist that you want to vote.again.at that point the only only way to do.that would be to cast a provisional.ballot.they would give you a provisional ballot.it goes in a separate envelope it gets.put to the side.and then after election day the board of.elections would uh you know.make sure that only one of those was.counted and it would be the first one.that you submitted your absentee ballot.would be the official ballot you.submitted at that point.uh the provisional ballot is is a you.know is a spoiled ballot it doesn't get.counted it's.it's uh invalid and so again don't test.our boards of elections they're good at.this.uh go ahead and submit your ballot once.vote absentee.check your your your uh status online to.make sure it's been received and again.uh then you've completed your.responsibilities and just one quick.follow-up on that would something like.the president said about that be part of.your disinformation.um process in terms of trying to take.steps to counteract.that in some way you know what i'm.trying to do is make sure that.i put out as much accurate information.as possible.what i'm more so talking about when.we're talking about reporting.disinformation.is where there is a paid and persistent.effort or.an organized effort online to spread.false information.intentionally certainly public officials.misspeak from time to time that's uh.you know or say something that needs to.be corrected.we will make sure to put accurate.information out there but certainly that.doesn't fall.in the disinformation protocol that our.office is set up but it does fall into.the category of i guess what you would.call misinformation right where.something.incorrect was said and it's my.responsibility as secretary of state to.make sure ohioans know the facts and.that is.vote once and your vote will be counted.thank you.good morning uh eric on your poll worker.tracker.uh two uh boards of elections show that.they have not.gotten any poll workers committed to.this point um.given all the circumstances that you've.laid out.is there any plans from your office to.take any action with those boards or.others that might be behind the curve on.recruiting poll workers.so what you're saying is that according.to the tracker there are two boards of.elections that report that they have not.recruited any poll workers yet.medina and preble i believe i'll have to.look into that.i don't think that that's the case i.think that that's probably a mistake if.that's what it says.i don't think that there's any board of.elections in the state that has.recruited zero poll workers at this.point certainly if there are that's a.problem.but we're working with all the county.boards of elections.we created this poll worker recruitment.task force over a year and a half ago.when i first came into office.long before anybody was thinking about.or talking about a pandemic.we put together a group from all over.the state.that represents the great diversity of.ohio we've been.you know working with that group of.elections officials very closely.and i can tell you that every board of.elections i've talked to takes this task.very seriously in fact many of them.are nearing you know they're really.pushing to get this done here in the.next couple weeks so i'll have to look.into that rick.secretary at this point in time do you.have the votes do you believe for the.controlling board request do you not.have it or do you not know at this point.sorry one more time yeah do you have the.votes for the controlling board request.do you not have the votes or do you not.know at this point.yeah so as far as the controlling board.request we're still pushing for it uh.again i know that uh um i know that it's.gonna be uh.you know an ongoing effort to get that i.wouldn't say that i'm resting.yet on that i'm gonna continue pushing.for the members of the controlling board.to consider this very thoughtful simple.public policy again very consistent with.what they did back in the primary.uh there's absolutely no good reason not.to do this.and uh again i've yet to hear any.reasonable.uh cause not to not to do this and.especially given that it's money.simply out of my office's budget it.doesn't affect the state budget it.doesn't affect the federal budget it's.uh.it's simply smart good public policy.on the same note of the controlling.board we're getting much closer to the.point where ballots will be going out.and you've said that you can't pay for.some of the ballot to not pay for.every ballot to have prepaid postage are.we getting too close to that deadline.where ballots will be going out or do.you still believe that your office would.be able to get stamps to all the county.boards.yeah so uh it's unfortunate that we're.in this position right because again.this is something we've been asking for.since.since the spring early spring really.and uh it's logistically possible to to.get this done.uh but it's gonna be tight uh we've.already been talking with our boards of.elections the boards of elections by the.way support this through their state.association because they know that it's.important.they know it's gonna be extra work but.they're willing to do that extra work.because it's important that we get this.done.to be clear if we do it for one voter we.do it for every voter and so we're going.to make sure that.that every absentee voter in the state.gets that opportunity to have the.postage paid return.envelope and that's something that we're.going to have to to push to get done i.mean we've heard creative ideas from.boards of elections where.uh maybe they even partner with their.local mrdd workshop.and and have those folks helping to put.stamps on envelopes and.and that'll be you know the process that.they have to undertake again this is.tough work running elections but it's.worth doing.and providing that postage paid will.help ohioans return their absentee.ballot that much quicker.it'll take away any question about.whether they need one stamp or two.it'll also by the way effectively make.every mailbox in the state.a a drop box right this idea about.should we have drop boxes and that kind.of thing.if we have postage paid on the absolute.ballot return envelopes then whether.it's the one at the end of your driveway.or the one.stuck to your front porch or the blue.box down the street every mailbox in the.state becomes a drop box.again because ohio allows those to be.received up to 10 days later as long as.they're post park by november 2nd.so good news yeah some have described.this so-called nightmare scenario in.which the candidates.claim victory on election night and then.the total changes at the end and it.throws the whole.process into question and voters uh.don't accept either one.should candidates declare.a victory on election night or should.they wait until.uh 10 days later and how vigorously is.it.your office's job to kind of tamp that.down.that that those claims of a victory when.it's not exactly clear if that's.the case yeah so i think you're right to.say.that that is a nightmare scenario.particularly if.the results are very close um.the old elections officials prayer is.lord whoever wins let them win big right.uh and and so we know that that's not.always the case here in ohio we know.that we've had some tight margins in the.past ohioans make you earn your victory.nobody gets a.nobody gets an easy ride here i'd say.this.the reason why we are reporting how many.absentee ballots are yet outstanding.is that it makes that calculation uh.that'll be you know abundantly clear.listen.if if some candidate wins by 4 or five.or six percent in ohio and there's only.a couple hundred thousand outstanding.absolute ballots then the chances are.that we know what the final result is.going to be but if it's a close margin.and you see that large number of.absolute ballots that are yet.outstanding.then candidates should be sanguine about.making those kind of pronouncements.again it's always the unofficial result.on election night.we've gotten very accustomed to sort of.knowing who's going to be the next.president before we go to bed.on election night that may not be the.case this year what i can tell you that.in ohio.we're going to report those results as.quickly as we can but more important.than speed is always accuracy.so we're going to report those results.accurately but again that'll just be a.snapshot on november 3rd the final.result comes weeks later.and you're right if it's a really tight.margin it would be a bad idea for.for candidates to declare victory in a.really tight margin scenario like that.a question that i get sometimes is.whether.a certain party voter is more likely to.vote by mail or not.so in the scenario you're talking about.it could be very pivotal do you have.based on the questions that you get the.information you guys have do you think.that there's a particular party that's.more likely to vote.by mail or how do you view kind of like.the partisan breakdown of who's more.likely to vote how.yeah historically in ohio we've seen uh.absentee voting adopted.pretty uniformly by both republicans and.democrats um.candidly one of the concerns i have is.that because of a lot of the rhetoric.about absentee voting this year.it could cause people to to not want to.do that even though in ohio it is a safe.and secure process that's why we've been.trying to re-emphasize it that's why our.our psa uh emphasized the the security.of absentee voting and the convenience.of absolute voting.uh i'm i'm of the belief that both.republicans and democrats.really do trust it in ohio uh and i know.that historically they've used it at.equal numbers i don't think that there's.a.a partisan advantage one way or another.with absentee voting.it just doesn't seem to play out that.way to me thanks yep.can you uh just comment a little bit on.voter dropboxes i know there's been a.lot of chatter about that this cycle.and a lot of groups that are hoping for.an expansion of that but.besides just this election is that.something your office might be looking.into expanding for future elections or.is that something.you're leaving up to the legislature to.decide yeah so i'm.not going to get into that obviously.there's pending litigation on that i.have spoken publicly about the.the public policy of that and and those.will.be my comments for now on the whole.dropbox question.rick yeah the uh associated press.uh had a report that said uh that in.battleground states.uh that absentee ballot rejections could.triple.in in this election they included ohio.in that is that something that you are.concerned about and.is your office doing anything to ensure.that uh.fewer uh absentee ballots are rejected.so again i was having trouble hearing.your i think you were saying the.rejection rate of absentee ballots okay.so.it's important for um it's important for.ohioans to take their time when they.fill that form out.the good news though is we've redesigned.the form to make it easier both the.application form.by the way and the the return envelope.when you send in your sd balance the.most common mistake again.is a signature that's missing uh.obviously that's a binary question is.there a signature on there or not.does the signature match the i can tell.you that the boards of elections very.seldom.disqualify a ballot for mismatching.signature and when they do disqualify a.ballot.for a signature match question it's.always a bipartisan vote of that county.board of elections to do that again i.think.in 2016 there was something like 700.statewide in the whole election.and so the the signature mismatch is a.is an uncommon reason uh but it's.something it's a you know an important.safeguard that exists.one of the other common mistakes that.happens is people will uh.you know put today's date instead of.their date of birth uh.so uh that's a thing that you know again.we've highlighted right there on the.forum that date.uh is one for people to pay attention to.we redesigned the instruction sheet.we worked with a group called the center.for civic design these are the form.gurus that study sort of government.forms and how to make them clearer.more intuitive and so we redesigned the.entire form.uh both for the absentee application and.for again returning your absolute ballot.and but this is also why it's important.for ohioans to put down.their uh email address and their phone.number.uh we're asking ohioans to do that.because i've directed the boards of.elections and again i think this is uh.you know this is something that's that's.noteworthy here i've directed the boards.of elections that if they have.a problem they should call the voter or.email the voter and get it rectified.and they can do that over the phone they.may still have to mail something to the.board of elections but it's not going to.delay the process we've directed them to.go ahead.and carry out the cure uh over the phone.and then.you know then receive the paper copy uh.that has to come by mail after that and.so that's why it's important to put your.name.or put your address and and phone number.on there so that we can fix it we don't.want to see any ballots rejected but the.fact is.the law is very black and white on this.too uh when.certain elements are missing we cannot.accept the ballot when when the.signature is missing you can't accept.the ballot.you know the standards are pretty.straightforward as it relates to that.two or three weeks ago uh the postmaster.general announced he was not going to.take some of the actions he had planned.to take as far as removing some of the.sorting machines the.blue drop boxes etc etc does that give.you any.uh cause to breathe a little easier or.any sense of relief.uh as we head into election season and.absentee ballot season.so that's the uh that was the right.decision that the postmaster general.made i spoke with him just a few days.later.as part of a bipartisan group of.secretaries of state the the.sort of the leadership from the national.association of secretaries of state got.on the phone with the postmaster general.and we actually have a subsequent call.with them coming up in a few more days.where we're going to have all of the.secretaries of state all you know all of.the chief elections officers in each.respective state on the phone.with the postmaster general i can say.this it was the right decision for him.to make.uh any large organization like the us.postal service probably needs.updates and changes and efficiency.improvements from time to time.but disruptive changes right before an.election.disruptive changes in the midst of a.pandemic right before an election.really bad idea and those are changes.that thankfully have been delayed now.they'll.carry those changes out next year if.they decide to carry them out.so that was the right choice i can tell.you this too we've seen.um good you know good results recently.from the postal service our.absentee ballot request form i didn't.think those would start hitting until.after labor day.candidly and most people have already.received theirs at this point i think.most of us around the room here have.already gotten our abstee ballot request.form in the mail.and so the postal service seems to be.holding.keeping their promise as far as treating.elections mail as first class mail.anything with that official elections.related logo we've told the u.s postal.service that we expect them to carry out.the plan that they've laid out as far as.running what's called an all clear.procedure where they have to go through.each sort facility each night and make.sure any elections related mail is out.the door.we expect the us postal service to.engage in that hand-to-hand delivery.where they establish a relationship with.their local board of elections and their.local postmaster.and they work closely together i've.heard of uh in recent days.that boards of elections and the local.post office are exchanging cell phone.numbers so they can get a hold of each.other after hours that's that kind of.cooperation that we want to see and so.that's happening.uh that's good news now we again will.hold the postal service uh.accountable uh we'll hold them.accountable to actually be that service.that.was established at our nation's founding.as part of the.important process for carrying out.elections did you think it was a.partisan.did you think it was any kind of a.partisan effort to to affect the.election the uh the changes that.the postmaster general had uh opposed.not i i.absolutely not i don't think so uh from.what i can tell the postmaster general.was brought in to be an efficiency.expert to try to improve the efficiency.of the organization and that's what he.was trying to do i can tell you that.what he told me over the phone and.others.was that elections mail is the top.priority for the us postal service.he didn't qualify that he didn't say.elections mail is one of the top.priorities for the u.s postal service.he says this agency's top priority is.elections mail.and again now it's just going to be up.to us to hold him accountable to.actually be true to that.um what what's the issue with the.controlling board when you have.conversations with them do they have a.policy.disagreement that this is necessary or.you know you mentioned.things like speed and in the past.they've cited the costs and stuff like.that but is it.a policy issue that you think is holding.this up yeah every argument i've heard.against it so far.um has been based on false premises or.misunderstandings right.the first argument i heard against it.was well you don't have the legal.authority to get.to do this even if we authorize you the.money you don't have the legal authority.to do that.that's 100 false again when the.legislature.10 years ago enacted a prohibition on.county boards of elections sending out.ballots with postage paid on them they.were doing that to prevent.a county from doing it to the exclusion.of the other counties because obviously.that would create a disparate situation.or.equal protection problem where one.county has the ability to send them out.and others do not the legislature at.that time prohibited.counties from providing postage paid did.not prohibit the secretary from.providing postage pay because obviously.if the secretary of state does it it's.going to be a statewide.endeavor and that's exactly what this.would be so the legal argument for this.is solid i have the authority to do this.i have no question in my mind that i.have the authority to do this so long as.they authorize the expenditure which is.what the controlling board has to do.the next argument that came up from some.uh against this was well that.they wouldn't get a postmark that's 100.false as well for two reasons.first of all even if it was the business.reply envelope those get postmarked.okay but this won't be the business.reply envelope i think in almost all.cases we're going to just be providing.those postage stamps.uh that will be used on those envelopes.so that was the second argument.completely.completely false the third argument was.that they wouldn't move as fast as first.class.if they were the business reply and.again that's 100 false as well.business reply mail is handled as first.class in fact anything that originates.from a consumer.from a from a citizen is handled as.first-class mail.but again that's off the table entirely.because what we're using is we're.actually physically putting stamps on.envelopes when we mail these out so.i've not heard i've not heard any.reasonable policy argument against it.from anybody on the controlling board.now.um if there's other motivations i don't.know what those may be.i i'm open to the conversation i know.that the governor and the lieutenant.governor continue to be supportive of.this as they've expressed to me.they've long been supportive of this and.again the legislature did.this very thing back in april for the.primary when they decided that the.election should be concluded.as an all-postal primary they provided.that postage paid and that's a good.thing and i think that we should do it.again.uh yes on the election night issue.we all know that you know midnight on.election night isn't really.a thing we've all sat up late at night.waiting for results from certain.counties sometimes it's a single county.sometimes it's a lot of counties.i think the issue that people are.worried about this year is that.the unofficial result can't.even be reported and i'm just wondering.are you.going to set any kind of deadline on how.long.ballots can be counted in order to.release the unofficial result.and are you against the idea of any.intermediary.reporting on results before the official.deadline.i guess as it relates to the last.question.i'm not going to prohibit anybody from.reporting what they want to report i.mean that can't do that.that's a simple question of you know.first amendment.free speech and freedom of the press for.for uh.a journalist to report whatever they.want to report um.what i'll say though is that as i think.that's what you were talking about.as far as that question the boards.whether the boards will be.will have some window from election day.to the official date.where they're unable to say that's.actually prohibited by state law.uh so they're not allowed to so say.on thursday after the election.they couldn't they couldn't update you.on how many ballots they've gotten and.counted so far.there's a there's a legal prohibition in.state law against that so the.the only time you're going to get.reports are we will report that.unofficial canvas on election night.and we're going to emphasize that that.is whether that's late on election night.or.whenever it is i think i'm going to.predict that before the sun comes up.wednesday morning we'll have.results right that's about that's about.as far as i'm willing to to.commit on that but we will report those.results on tuesday night wednesday.morning.and um and then the next time you're.going to hear results is going to be.over three weeks later.when the final canvas is certified right.and so that's.those are the only two times that you.can have election results reported.um and uh again we'll never sacrifice.speed for for accuracy or never.sacrifice accuracy for speed.so if it went into wednesday or thursday.of that week and.would that be okay or you you just are.going to be.uh encouraging them to have it all.counted by morning.i'm sorry one more time just i'm you're.saying that it'll be before the sun.rises on wednesday but that's obviously.i mean.that that's not a legal thing that's.just sort of what everybody wants we all.want that but i mean how long could that.unofficial count go i guess.so here's what we will have when the.polls close at 7.30 on election night you're going to.hear.reported hours later hopefully not too.many hours later.all the ballots that we currently have.in hand right so all the ballots that.have been received.throughout the early voting period.throughout the absentee voting period.and on election day up until when the.polls close on 7 30.at 7 30 on election night we're going to.report everything that we have at that.point.weeks later is when you're going to find.out how many provisional ballots came in.that were actually counted and how many.trailing absentee ballots continued to.arrive on wednesday.thursday friday etc but we can't report.those numbers.until the final certification of the.final canvas you know again over three.weeks after the election that's.those are the two and so yes if it's a.if it's within a fraction of a percent.or whatever else that could make for a.very difficult scenario.uh let's uh let's hope that's not the.case thank you yeah.anything else right thanks everybody.you.

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