World has eyes on Ohio, state steps up security

VAN WERT COUNTY, Ohio (WANE) – Homeland Security and the National Guard have been called in to protect the people of Ohio’s votes during this historic election.

“I wanted to make my vote count,” Ohio voter Stan Agler said.

Ohio is one of 46 states to ask for extra help from Homeland Security to fight off potential cyber attacks on Election Day. Now, the governor has deployed the National Guard Cyberprotection Unit for help on the big day as well. Some call the move unprecedented. Maryland also has the unit on standby.

Van Wert County Board of Elections Director Linda Stutz has been told about the extra pull for protection. She said the state department frequently checks the systems, and so far nothing fishy has come up.

“I always try to keep an eye out, you know where’s this coming from, or what is this and should this be here,” Stutz said.

However, when training her poll workers, Stutz did extra emergency training this year.

“None of us know,” Stutz said. “None of us know who is going to be targeted or what it is.”

Ohio is one of the few states the the nation and the world will have its eyes on come Tuesday. It’s a battleground state.

“I’ve seen candidates loose or win just be very few votes,” Agler said.

Stutz said special interest groups are targeting the state’s voters hard. Often times it creates confusion and frustration.

“We’ve been having a lot of the last couple days issues where people are getting mail saying that their ballots are not recorded, and yet we go into our records and they are,” Stutz said.

If you are confused about any mailings or the process in general call your Board of Elections office.

In Van Wert County nearly 5,500 people have voted early. Stutz expects a 75 to 80 percent turn out once the election is over.