Frank Wilkinson for Bloomberg View:
The state’s 88 county boards of election are all bipartisan, consisting of two Republicans and two Democrats, limiting the scope of partisan temptation. Its chief election officer is Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, an ex-Green Beret and former state legislator with a reputation for competence and fairness.
LaRose has declined to endorse partisan propaganda about voter fraud, which he has acknowledged is minimal. When his office last year put together a list of voters to be purged, as required by an aggressive state law purporting to target the mythical fraud, he first released the list to advocacy groups. They found it to be riddled with errors and likely to disenfranchise at least 40,000 legitimate voters. LaRose prevented some purges, and the advocacy groups helped others avoid being dropped.
While Republicans such as Texas attorney general Ken Paxton have gained notoriety by dismissing calls to make voting more convenient in a pandemic, LaRose is among the Republican office holders “doing the right thing to make sure voters can vote safely and fairly in November,” said University of California at Irvine law professor Richard Hasen, an expert in election law.
LaRose, however, needs speedy authorization from the state legislature to enact his plan. So far, the legislature hasn’t moved to accommodate him.