WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced the creation of the Public Integrity Division, a new, dedicated division to promote election integrity. The Public Integrity Division will be empowered to investigate fraud and other violations of election law. Even though he acknowledges that fraud is extremely rare in Ohio elections, LaRose argues the move is justified given declining confidence in elections — without acknowledging the falsehoods spread by his own political party.
Ohio’s creation of a dedicated division mirrors similar moves in other Republican-controlled states. Georgia enacted a law earlier this year empowering the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate election-related crimes and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) announced the creation of an Election Integrity Unit in September. Most notably, Florida created a special force to investigate elections at the request of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The force led to the arrest of 20 Floridians for illegally voting in August, only for reports to emerge that the individuals in question were told by elections officials that they were eligible to vote. Rather than uncover fraud, these investigations are more likely to harass and intimidate voters.