COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has announced his office has formalized data sharing agreements with three key states, bolstering a nationwide effort to keep elections accurate and accountable.
LaRose signed the new agreements individually today with chief elections officers in Florida, Virginia and West Virginia. Each state will implement state-specific data sharing and security protocols to allow for the secure exchange of voter information, giving both states in the agreement the ability to analyze records for evidence of cross-state voter fraud and duplicate voter registrations.
“This is a major new development as states look to move beyond the old model of sharing voter data through an unaccountable third-party vendor,” said LaRose. “Ohio took the lead on this election integrity project, and it’s only one aspect of the work we’re doing to keep our elections honest as we prepare for the next presidential election year.”
LaRose also worked with the Ohio General Assembly this summer to enact the DATA Act, a landmark new law that modernizes the way Ohio retains voting records and the first state legislation of its kind in the nation. The Secretary of State’s new Office of Data Analytics and Archives is working to implement a statewide system that enables Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections to easily transfer election records to the Secretary of State for retention and public review. The DATA Act also established for the first time consistent and clear definitions of electronic election records, allowing for a more effective cross-state voter data sharing infrastructure.
“We anticipate announcing additional agreements with other states that want to work together with Ohio to secure our elections and uphold the integrity of our democracy nationwide,” said Amanda Grandjean, LaRose’s Senior Advisor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, who led the effort to secure the new agreements on behalf of Ohio. “These new agreements came from a 27-state working group that formed earlier this year in hopes of finding a more durable and accountable solution to cross-state data sharing that fit each state’s individual needs. I’m confident this will continue to grow as each state works through the necessary legal and cybersecurity protocols that at the core of each agreement.”