A Note from Secretary LaRose:
This month we kicked off our Ready for November Task Force. The task force, consisting of the the four bipartisan officers from the Ohio Association of Election Officials and myself. We have already hosted three virtual meetings to discuss the challenges we are facing in preparing for a general election in the face of a global pandemic and how those challenges can be overcome. The discussions have been unfiltered, productive, and have most assuredly moved the ball forward. But make no mistake, while many of the recommendations we’ve made have been successful, there is more work to do. I hope I can count on you to help advance our efforts to make small changes that can lead to big improvements.
As our state and nation continue to manage an unprecedented crisis, we must resolve ourselves to provide the certainty and consistency voters need – and that means in-person, early, and absentee voting being accessible to all. Be sure to follow my updates on social media and the Secretary of State’s webpage, as I promise there is a lot more to come relating to our elections, Ohio businesses, and how we are better together.
Yours in service,
Working To Be Ready for November
Secretary LaRose worked closely with the Ohio House to strengthen HB 680 before it passed their chamber. The bill aims to better prepare Ohio for the November general election and ensures that Ohioans continue to have access to in-person, absentee, and early voting options. While the legislation doesn’t include all of the recommendations made by Secretary LaRose and bipartisan election officials, if passed by the Senate it will make several significant improvements, such as adjusting the absentee ballot request deadline so voters aren’t disenfranchised and getting vital funding to county boards of elections. Click here to watch this message from Secretary LaRose for more information.
Two Must-Watch Clips from Our Ready for November Task Force Meetings
First, watch Andre Washington of the A. Philip Randolph Institute talks about the importance of working together to solve the challenges Ohio faces in November.
Second, elections expert Professor Edward Foley from the Ohio State University Law School talks about the importance of “flattening the election curve” by voting early.
Improving the Safety of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors
The Safe At Home program, run through the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, is an address confidentiality program designed to better protect survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and other crimes by shielding their address from government/public documents. While the program has been successful by helping more than 1,000 Ohioans, more is needed to expand the ability to communicate with other government offices to keep survivors safe. The office provided testimony in support of legislation to accomplish that goal and it unanimously passed the Ohio House on June 11th thanks to joint sponsors State Representatives Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Twp.) and Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison.)
The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office is committed to protecting those seeking safety and anonymity as Ohioans adjust to the realities of the pandemic. If you are a survivor of violence or assault and want to keep your address confidential, or know someone who does, please visit OhioSoS.gov/SafeAtHome or call (614) 995-2255 to talk to an Application Assistant.
Strengthening Minority Businesses in Ohio
Recently, Secretary LaRose has hosted two minority business roundtables for community leaders across the state-- his sixth and seventh in a serious of Minority Business Roundtables across the state. The events have provided important information about the resources available to the community as well as essential feedback about the needs of entrepreneurs. If you would like an event in your area, contact Monique Cox-Moore at [email protected]
Businesses Are Adapting
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the business community across the country, but Ohio businesses are finding ways to adapt. These featured businesses are shining examples of the fortitude of Ohio’s entrepreneurs. Check out the video featuring this month's spotlighted businesses.
Helping Ohio’s State Budget
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Ohio’s state budget. In response, Governor DeWine required state agencies to institute a number of savings measures in an effort to balance Ohio’s General Revenue Fund. While the Secretary’s office and other independently elected offices are not required to participate in these measures, Secretary LaRose has directed our office to institute cost savings. As a result, the Secretary of State is sending $1 million into Ohio’s General Revenue Fund, nearly double what would have been saved if our office had only taken the measures required of other state agencies.
Setting Records for New Business
Despite a global pandemic, more than 12,892 new entities filed to do business here in Ohio in May. Almost all of these filings were done online through OhioBusinessCentral.gov. Click here to learn more.