Like 20 other states, an attempt in 2016 was made to intrude into Ohio’s voting process, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Recently, Americans also learned that some voting systems were actually penetrated by a suspicious actor. But according to Ohio officials, voting integrity in Ohio is in good shape for the upcoming elections.

The attempt was unsuccessful, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s Press Secretary Sam Rossi.

“There was no breach of Ohio’s elections system,” Rossi said. “He also said the attempted breach lasted less than one second and failed.”

Rossi said the DHS internet security contractors considered it a non-event and that the contractors did not report it to Ohio officials at that time.

“Bottom line,” Rossi said, “Ohio’s election system was not compromised.”

He noted officials are always working to ensure Ohio’s elections are secure. The SOS released this information in September 2016 but Rossi stated Ohio’s voting integrity remains secure today as it was then.

One concern Rossi addressed was that Ohio’s voting machines are not connected to the internet. Cyber attacks are not possible. That statement was echoed by Mercer County Board of Elections Director Laura Bruns and Van Wert County BOE Deputy Director Brenda Weaver. Both local officials said their machines are constantly tested usually within a month of an election and the morning of and close of election day to ensure the machine’s integrity.

Rossi explained that the attempted breach was through their website and compared the attempt to someone seeing a suspicious vehicle passing through the neighborhood. He stated actual voting rolls are kept individually at each of the 88 Ohio counties and those rolls cannot be manipulated at the state level.

In 2017, Husted contacted Gov. John Kasich and other officials about the need to update Ohio’s voting machines, noting in a press release the following, “Secretary Husted expressed the importance of updating the state’s voting machines in time for the 2020 presidential election.

“The last time Ohio replaced its voting machines the iPhone hadn’t been released, people still rented movies from Blockbuster and social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat didn’t exist. It’s time to make updating our voting equipment a priority.”

The Department of Administrative Services has already started exploring costs associated with the implementation of a new system. Based on that research, estimates for a statewide acquisition of new voting equipment is approximately $118 million.