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DeWine Says Ohio Will Have 'War Room' To Watch For Election Day Violence

More than 500 people queued up in Franklin County for the start of early voting on Oct. 6.
Nick Evans
More than 500 people queued up in Franklin County for the start of early voting on Oct. 6.

Political tensions are high as Ohioans prepare to go to the polls Tuesday. The state is taking some actions to ensure those tensions don’t translate into violence at polling places.

Gov. Mike DeWine says he’s been talking with the highway patrol, Ohio National Guard and others about potential problems on Election Day.

“We basically have a war room, and if we need to do things, we will do them," DeWine says. "But the first line of defense is local government then state. The first line of defense is the local police, local sheriff. We have the highway patrol as backup and we also have the National Guard."

DeWine says voters should have confidence in going to the polls and if they have concerns, they can vote now at their early vote center.

Ohio election boards have been training poll workers in de-escalation techniques in case issues arise with the statewide mask mandate, attempted voter intimidation or violations of the 100-foot campaign-free zone.

The League of Women Voters of Ohio is also working with the Election Protection coalition to recruit social workers and other trained civilians for Election Day, who will deploy to any voting sites where people report issues. Ohio is also part of an initiative called Lawyers and Collars, where clergy will work alongside lawyers to help out in areas where minorities may encounter voting trouble.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.