DAYTON — Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck, Jr. announced today the assignment of Mr. Ward Barrentine, Chief of the Civil Division of the Prosecutor’s Office, and Ms. Anne Jagielski, Civil Division Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, to oversee any Election Day legal issues that may arise.
“Efforts to disrupt the election or deny the residents of Montgomery County their fundamental right to vote will not be tolerated,” Heck stated. “My office stands ready to assist the Board of Elections and the Sheriff’s Office to ensure that this year’s election day runs smoothly and according to state law, guaranteeing and enforcing every citizen’s right to vote.”
Ohio’s election laws prohibit the hindrance or delay of voters as they attempt to enter or leave a polling place. Additionally, Ohio law prevents the loitering or solicitation of voters within the designated area outside a polling place.
Ohio Revised Code §3501.33 requires that election officials prevent violence and disorder in polling locations. Election officials have the authority to call upon the sheriff to aid them in this mandate, and the sheriff has a statutory duty to respond immediately to such a request.
In the event a question of law arises, either from election officials or the sheriff’s office, the County Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for issuing opinions and guidance. Under Ohio law, the County Prosecutor is the legal representative for the Board of Elections and the County Sheriff.