CLEVELAND, Ohio - A month into office, Frank LaRose, is gearing up to oversee his first election in May as Secretary of State. He does so with an eye toward 2020, another heavy impact election year with Ohio once again drawing the attention of the nation.
The 39-year-old Copley Township native assures voters, "Ohio has a history of running good elections."
It's a tradition he vows to maintain but with an awareness that there is concern and with good reason.
During a recent meeting with Secretaries of State in Washington, D.C., the Department of Homeland Security warned, the Russians tried in interfere and they will again.
LaRose knows it's imperative for his office and the county boards of elections to be vigilant because, in his words, "Those that want to cause chaos only have to be right once. and we, the good guys and gals, have to be right everyday."
The secretary stresses the robust safeguards that are in place to ensure the integrity of elections.
There is no evidence that anyone hacked into machines.
In fact, in Ohio that could not happen.
The machines which tabulate results are plugged into a wall for power but never connected to the internet.
"That air gap, as they call it, is maintained to make sure if somebody was to tamper with that machine they'd have to physically be there present to do so", LaRose explains.
The Republican Secretary of State says despite politicians who imply otherwise, "voter fraud when actually it's very rare."
A large part of accurate elections is maintaining voter rolls.
In January 267,000 people were purged. LaRose says he'll be reaching out by sending them voter registration cards.
It is not the comprehensive update he'll be pushing to replace the state's antiquated system of removing voters who haven't cast a ballot in six years, but it's a step.
Another major challenge coming up is redrawing congressional districts.
Every ten years, the party in power was the one that controlled it.
Voters decided that needs to end.
As the Secretary of State sees it, "They were sending a message that politicians shouldn't get to pick their voters. Voters get to pick their politicians."