Gavarone introduces bill creating Election Integrity Division

COLUMBUS — State Senator Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, this week introduced Senate Bill 51, legislation to create the Election Integrity Division within the Office of the Secretary of State.

This is the first bill Gavarone has introduced during the 135th General Assembly, and it follows up her efforts in writing the laws to require Ohioans to show a photo ID to vote and create some of the nation’s most stringent post-election auditing requirements.

The Election Integrity Division will be required to investigate allegations of election fraud and voter suppression, allow the public to submit complaints, refer cases to a prosecutor, law enforcement, or another state or federal agency for review, and submit a report to the General Assembly detailing the number of complaints and people referred for investigation.

“I have worked hard to stop voter fraud because it not only erodes trust in elections, but also our form of government,” Gavarone said. “While we have been fortunate that current Secretary of State Frank LaRose takes voter fraud so seriously, a future officeholder may not. This bill will make certain that fighting voter fraud remains a top priority regardless of who is in office, and provide greater transparency and confidence in Ohio’s election results.”

Senate Bill 51 will be referred to a committee for further consideration.