EXCLUSIVE Ohio State Secretary Frank LaRose said he was “aggressively” against Americans voting via their mobile devices after Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested this week that voters should be able to vote on iPhones.
During an exclusive interview with FOX Business, LaRose, Ohio’s chief election officer, slammed the idea as “ridiculous.”
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Not on my watch. Not in Ohio, ”LaRose said Wednesday. “I think this is a classic example of one of these kinds of elites who think they have a simple solution to a complex problem.”
Cook made the proposal this week during an interview with The New York Times, calling America’s voice infrastructure “rather vague.”
“I think we all probably have the wrong conversation about the right to vote,” he said. “We were going to talk about using technology.”
“We are on the phone. We have our health data on phones. We have more information on a phone about us than there is in our houses, ”the Cook Times reported. “And then, why not?”
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LaRose stated several reasons.
“When you make changes related to elections, you have to have two things – you have to have competence and you have to have confidence,” he said.
“On competency, you have to have the technological competency to do it right,” LaRose explained. “And it may exist sometime in the near future, but it’s more complicated than people realize.”
LaRose said election officials would have to prove the voter “is, as they say, they are” through multifactor authentication “to prove that voter holds the device.”
“And then you have to separate the identity from the individual so that the individual can cast a secret ballot and not have the way they vote is tracked by a government official, which we all strongly believe in,” LaRose said, adding: “That’s all. together very difficult to do. “
But LaRose said the “most important thing” in terms of elections is “public confidence,” and the confidence that “every vote is counted fairly and free from fraud and shenanigans.”
“Public confidence is much tougher and hangs behind technological competence,” LaRose said.
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LaRose described the election process in Ohio, saying “every vote has a paper trail” that can be revised. LaRose proclaimed Ohio’s election revision to have an accuracy of 99.98%.
“The point is, we can do that because we have a paper trail,” LaRose said, adding that they do not use anything connected to the Internet to present election results.
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“The idea that we would let people use iPhones or other mobile devices to do something as important as cast a vote is just creepy,” he said.
As for Cook, LaRose said he is “sure” that his “intentions are likely to be good.”
“He wants to see more participation. I want to see more participation, ”LaRose said, saying“ any patriotic person ”would. “But trying something untried, like voting on iPhones – that [could] result in loss of confidence. ”
LaRose said that when people are less confident in the electoral process, there is lower turnout, while adding that voter trust is “sacred.”
LaRose said his “most sacred responsibility” as chief election officer in Ohio is to get his constituents “going to bed, knowing it’s an honest contest,” and knowing that the results are “the voice of the people of Ohio,” who speaks. “
“And certainly we would not risk it just to try some shiny new technologies,” said LaRose.
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As for large technology companies in general, Republicans have criticized them for censoring conservative views.
Just this week, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said he was investigating Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter for restricting conservative content.
“I share that concern,” LaRose said. “Because it is clear that there is a bias from many of these technology companies to the left, and it all annuls the cultural idea of censoring people whose opinions we disagree with is a really corrosive and dangerous thing.”
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He added: “Why would you allow the same individuals to have control over the election process itself? That’s again why it’s a terrible idea to vote for iPhones. ”
LaRose, however, said there are “many good things technology can do when it comes to ongoing elections.”
“I’m a big fan of embracing those things,” he said. “But when it comes to actually casting ballots, tabulating results, never connect to the Internet – it should not be something that happens in an uncontrollable measure.”