Ohio secretary of state says they’re ready for influx of absentee votes

Frank LaRose addresses concerns about mail-in ballots, poll worker recruitment and more.
5:08 | 09/28/20

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Transcript for Ohio secretary of state says they’re ready for influx of absentee votes
The election is right around the corner, with early voting set to begin in Ohio on October 6th, but with a large number of Democrats seeking absentee ballots there are concerns that the outcomes of the state's presidential race could be, quote, even more unpredictable than usual. Let's see about this now. Let's see how Ohio is preparing for the election and that influx of election ballots. Chief elections official and secretary of state frank Larose, thanks so much for being with us. The last count I saw, you all received double the number of absentee applications than you did last time around, so getting up close to 2 million, if you can, give us the update on your numbers and how in the world can you deal with that type of influx? We sent out to 7.8 million registered voters. Every registered voter in the state received an absentee ballot request form. We want Ohioans to get those back in as soon as we can. We have been preparing since the spring to make sure we're ready for that influx. I told the board of elections to be prepared for that number of absentee votes to be doubled. We took that cares money and pushed it out to counties. The counties can hire extra people. And the good news is this, in Ohio, we have been used to high volume of absentee voting. In a normal election, nothing's normal this year, but between 20% to 25% of those total ballots come in by mail. We're going to be ready. Secretary Larose, I want to ask you about president trump, when pressed he would not commit to a peaceful transition of power if he's not re-elected, potentially stoking those fears about mail-in ballots, you're a chief election official expecting a large number of mail-in ballots, what's your reaction to the president's comments? My reaction is that here in Ohio, voters know they can trust the results of the election and when the final result is tabulated, they will know and somewhere faith that that's the true reflection of the will of the people. That peaceful transition of power is the hallmark of democracy. I have no doubt that when the results are tallied at least here in the buckeye state people will know it's an honest result. Do you have enough poll workers? Not yet, but we're getting there. This has been a priority from the beginning. In fact, long before the pandemic, we launched an initiative to recruit poll workers, we knew it's always a challenge to recruit poll workers, of course that challenge became even more profound at the beginning of this pandemic. Secretary, lawsuits in your state regarding your own directive for only one drop box per county. Two weeks I was talking with the Dayton mayor, she's pushing for more ballot drop boxes in her city. Take a listen to what she had to say. 88 counties in Ohio and some of them are very small and some of like Dayton's the sixth largest in the state with around a half of million living in this county, each only get one drop box according to the secretary of state. He trying -- I think he's playing a line where he pretends to be caring about voters but at the same time, he's a Republican and he's showing the partisanship where he's doing less service to the urban areas. What's your response? First of all, Nan knows me better than that. I take this work very seriously and I make sure that every voice can be heard in the election is my top priority. But also as Ohio's chief elections official I don't get to make the law, I have to follow the law. In Ohio, every county board of elections has a drop box, this is new, this is the first time in a general election in our state's history that every county board of elections has that. The return you return absentee ballots, is by putting a stamp on it and mailing them in. But you can drop it off at your county board of elections, as far as the pending litigation, not going to get into that as a pending matter before the court still. What's the thing that keeps you up at night about the possibility of Ohio being in the middle of something that might just be a mess on election night? T.J., when I got that question before, I said it was my three kids that keep me up at night, honestly, poll worker recruitment, accurate information, you lost a bet and had to wear that Georgia tie, I got a bet with the Michigan secretary of state that's all about voter participation. Not on the football field, because between Ohio state and Michigan, that's gotten a little bit predictable. Ohio has a higher vote turnout, Michigan will be at the horseshoe singing the Ohio state -- We brought that full circle. Ohio secretary of state frank Larose, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate you coming on the program.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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