Going to President Trump in both 2016 and 2020, Ohio has for the most part become a red state. But as the 2022 midterms approach, Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel is concerned that the controversial Dominion voting machines are being used in some areas of the state. During a recent faith and freedom rally at Mansfield Baptist Temple, Mandel said, "If we are going to have fair and free elections in the future, we need to make significant change and reform."
His warning spurred 72 clergy from Richland County to send a letter advising the Richland County Board of Elections to pull the plug on the Dominion machines because of transparency and performance issues. For example, it was discovered in Pennsylvania last month that Dominion voting machines were rejecting Republican ballots in Fayette County. In Luzerne County, Republican ballots were all mislabeled as Democrat ballots on Dominion electronic screens at polling locations.
"Some of the reports that have come out from the really hotly-contested states in the past election, a lot of the discrepancies didn't get any real air time over … major media outlets and things that way," notes Les Farley, pastor of Irresistible Church in Lexington, Ohio and one of the letter's signees. "But a lot of the more conservative outlets were concerned about the ability of these machines and in many cases the fact that the machines were hooked into the internet."
Following the Mandel rally, Jane Zimmerman, deputy director of the Richland County Board of Elections, responded, "The issues cited within the clergy letter had no relation to any election that was conducted here in Richland County. It would be not only irresponsible but impossible for our Board to respond to alleged irregularities of which we had no participation in."
Farley says people are losing faith in America's election system.
"We see a lot of that even here in Ohio," he laments. "The bigger cities are having that. I'm friends with many pastors up in the Cleveland area and down in Columbus, and they both have said that many of their congregants don't even vote anymore because they basically say, 'Why should we? Our vote's not going to count.'"
That, he says, is "a dangerous mindset" for Bible believers to have.