BPC Action Applauds Ohio’s SB173 to Safeguard Election Officials  in Elections, Government Reform

BPC Action extends its support for Ohio Senate Bill 173 (SB173), which would safeguard the privacy of election officials. In a bipartisan effort, Sens. William T. Demora (D) and Theresa Gavarone (R) have taken a significant step in addressing the escalating challenges faced by election workers. SB173 ensures the protection of election officials’ personal information by exempting their residential and family details from public records requests.

As election workers across the nation contend with unprecedented levels of threats and harassment, the importance of legislation like SB173 cannot be overstated. The inclusion of “election official” in the exempted list is a necessary measure to shield these dedicated public servants from potential harm and undue stress.

Sarah Walker, BPCA state elections strategist, stated, “BPCA has long championed efforts that offer pragmatic and politically viable solutions to improving election administration. Sens. Demora and Gavarone’s work on SB173 showcases the power of bipartisan cooperation in enhancing the safety and security of our election workforce. We hope states nationwide adopt similar reforms to ensure the safety and well-being of those essential to the electoral process.”

Since 2020, election workers nationwide have been met with threats and harassment that are exacerbating high turnover in this mission critical workforce. Given the risks that turnover pose to the security and integrity of the 2024 election, BPC’s Elections Project recently announced a new Election Workforce Advisory Council to enhance and innovate recruitment, retention, and training within election administration. By safeguarding the personal information of election officials, Ohio is taking a proactive approach to fostering a safe and secure environment for its election workforce.

The Bipartisan Policy Center commends the bipartisan cooperation behind SB173 and encourages other states to explore similar avenues for protecting the individuals instrumental in upholding the integrity of our democratic process.