In the wake of the August 8 special elections in their county, some Ohio faith leaders sent a letter to the Richland County Board of Elections thanking them for using paper ballots as the primary method of voting. Over the last couple of years, the pastors had made it clear they do not like voting machines, nor do they care for electronic tabulators. They based their concerns on a report by federal cybersecurity officials that verified software vulnerabilities exist in certain ballot-marking devices.
JC Church is the founder and lead pastor of Victory in Truth Ministries, a non-denominational church in Bucyrus, Ohio. He is a spokesman for the group.
"It's obvious that there's some software vulnerabilities in certain ballot-marking devices," he tells AFN. "The Dominion machines have been found by those who look closely to have some potential glitches that can make an impact for elections. [Our] concern is for election integrity."
Another pastor in the group added his voice in an interview with FrontLinesOhio: "… We do not pretend to be experts in cybersecurity or voting technology. However, when issues of morality and election integrity are at play, we get involved," said Pastor Chad Hayes.
Church explains they want assurance that every legitimate vote counts. "Looking at some counties and leaders who've gone back to paper ballots for the primary voting method, eyes from both sides do the counting. That gives us peace and character integrity," he shares.
In April 2021, essentially the same group of pastors expressed their concerns to the Richland County Board of Commissioners about election integrity in the November 2020 election – as well as the choice of voter machine vendors.
"Due to recent revelations on its reputation of non-transparency and dishonesty as an election system administrator, we give Dominion Voting Systems 'a vote of no confidence,'" they wrote at the time, recommending that the vendor be replaced so the public can be reassured local elections are as secure as can be.