Ohio’s Secretary of State Frank LaRose certified the results of the 2020 general election on Friday, delivering the state’s 18 electoral votes to President Donald Trump, who beat Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by about 8 percentage points.
LaRose, a Republican, said in an announcement that nearly 6 million people voted in the state this year—or 5,974,121 ballots cast in total—hailing it as “a new record.”
The state’s final certified results gives 3,154,834 votes (53.2 percent) for Trump and 2,679,165 (45.2 percent) for Biden.
The overall voter turnout was a “record” 74 percent, LaRose said.
“The election we certified today has taken Ohio to a new level of civic participation,” he announced on Twitter. “Whether your candidate won or lost, our state has taken a giant leap forward—making this the most secure and accessible election in state history.”
Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, signed off on the certificate of ascertainment soon afterward, reported The Associated Press.
The state reported that the rate of rejection of absentee mail-in ballots was slashed in half in the November 2020 election compared to previous elections, due to “reforms put in place by Secretary LaRose and the efforts of county boards of elections.”
“Reasons for the significant improvement include the policy decision to require county boards to quickly contact voters who may need to correct information on their ballot by using the voter’s e-mail address or phone number, in addition to the lawfully required mail notice. Additionally, major improvements to the design of the forms made them easier to correctly fill out and return,” the announcement from LaRose’s office said.
The announcement also noted that 94 percent of absentee ballots were returned, which surpasses rates from 2008, 2012, and 2016.
LaRose said trusting election outcomes is “the very foundation of our way of life in a democracy.”
“Whether your favorite candidates won or lost, Ohioans can trust that this result was accurate and honest,” he said. “That’s our mission. That’s what we do here at the Secretary of State’s Office and that’s what we do in 88 county boards of elections.”
“Abraham Lincoln said the election belongs to the people. It was true then, and it’s just as true now,” he said.
LaRose told the AP: “I’m patient enough to allow the president to present his evidence in a court of law and for the courts to hear that, but if there isn’t evidence to back up these claims that he’s making, then that’s a big problem.”
Six battleground states are currently facing ongoing litigation or vote recounts amid allegations of voting irregularities from the Trump campaign and hundreds of witnesses across the nation. The situation within each state appears to be rapidly developing. With 79 electoral votes between them, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada will likely decide the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
While Biden has declared victory and media outlets have begun to refer to him as “president-elect,” The Epoch Times won’t declare a winner of the 2020 presidential election until all results are certified and any legal challenges are resolved.
The Electoral College will vote on Dec. 14 to decide the outcome of the race. The votes will be counted during the Jan. 6, 2021 Joint Session of Congress in Washington.