Editorial: Ohio gives an assist to conspiracy credibility


A recent editorial by the Toledo Blade:

Citing a “crisis in confidence” that Americans have shown with the electoral process, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced the creation this week of a public integrity unit in his office.

The Republican elections chief took pains to make it clear there is no systemic problem with Ohio elections. But it is the national questioning of election integrity that has prompted Mr. LaRose to create the division in the Secretary of State’s office.

We would feel much better about this decision if the crisis in confidence to which Mr. LaRose is responding was not created without evidence by former President Donald Trump.

More than 60 court cases ruled against the Trump campaign claim of voting irregularities. The Trump administration’s Attorney General investigated and called the allegations bull-bleep.

It didn’t derail the “Stop the Steal” rally Mr. Trump presided over on Jan. 6, 2021. It was a shameful day when the president of the United States told his followers he would join them in a march to the Capitol to disrupt the Electoral College vote certification to make Joe Biden president.

Everyone in America and billions around the world saw a riotous band of citizens marauding through the Capitol because they believed, evidence be damned, that the election making Mr. Biden president was a fraud.

Mr. LaRose is absolutely right that consent of the governed depends on confidence in our elections.

But while it is politically advantageous for Mr. LaRose to configure his office as if the “crisis of confidence” has some basis in fact, it is a terrible abuse of his office to provide even an ounce of credibility to an assertion that has already sparked a riot in Washington.

We do not oppose a public integrity unit at the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, as long as Mr. LaRose is transparent that the motive behind this is Republican politics and not voting irregularities in Ohio or the United States.

For many citizens, the “crisis of confidence,” has newfound credibility because Mr. LaRose has announced a division to address the issue.

The issue, he says, is not a problem in Ohio.

— Toledo Blade, October 6, 2022