Advocating for Ohio Entrepreneurs and Business Creation
This week, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose traveled to Marietta to meet with students and faculty from the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business at Marietta College to discuss the importance of entrepreneurship and risk-taking as a pathway to prosperity. While there, the Secretary heard from students in the program who are launching the types of innovative business ideas that have helped Ohio's new business filings continue to grow at a record pace. The Secretary shared with McDonough Center students the array of resources that may be available to help startup businesses in Ohio, and how his office continues to work to remove red tape and streamline the process to make it easier to create a new business in Ohio.
Leading the Nation in Election Security
By any conceivable metric, the November 2020 election was the most successful in Ohio history. Despite the complexities and challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ohio saw more ballots cast, a record statewide voter turnout, fewer absentee ballot rejections, and a 94% absentee ballot return rate. It is increasingly evident that Ohioans have confidence in the integrity of our elections process because it is accessible and convenient to vote, and because the system is secure and the results trustworthy.
Ohio law has long prohibited voting machines from being connected to the internet, but a recent change in policy by the Federal Elections Assistance Commission could open the door to future voting machines with components capable of wireless connectivity. LaRose's actions will future-proof Ohio's elections infrastructure by prohibiting machines with such components.
In keeping with the Secretary's goal of ensuring that Ohio elections remain accessible and secure, on Wednesday, Ohio’s Board of Voting Machine Examiners (BVME) began using new standards to strengthen election security by prohibiting any device in a voting machine that has the capability to connect to the internet or any hardware that could communicate with a wireless network. Simply put, Ohio's machines will continue to be secure from cyber attacks because our voting machines -- and no component within them -- can be connected to the internet. Ohio is the first state to implement this higher standard.
You can read more about Ohio's nation-leading security efforts below at StateScoop.com.
Ohio takes tougher line on election tech wireless connectivity
Promoting Ohio's Safe at Home Program to Protect Survivors of Domestic Abuse
Secretary LaRose continues to visit with the amazing organizations across the state that work tirelessly on the front lines to combat domestic abuse and assist its survivors. Ohio is fortunate to have an incredible network of nonprofit, government and philanthropic partners who are working collaboratively to provide aid and comfort to Ohioans suffering from domestic violence, and we should do all that we can to support them and their mission.
This week, the Secretary met with the inspirational leaders and volunteers of Transitions, Inc. in Zanesville, the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, and the Hope and Healing Survivor Resource Center in Akron to learn more about their missions and challenges and to promote Ohio's Safe at Home Program. Safe at Home helps survivors of domestic violence safely register to vote and participate in our elections while keeping their home addresses secure from the person seeking to do them harm. Learn more about the program here.
Secretary LaRose and Transitions, Inc. Executive Director Pam Page in Zanesville
Secretary LaRose discusses strategies for helping survivors of domestic abuse with the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati
Secretary LaRose and Terri Heckman, CEO of the Hope and Healing Survivor Resource Center in Akron
Important Election Dates & Reminders:
- June 18th: Military and Overseas absentee voting begins
- July 6th: Deadline to register to vote
- July 7th: Early voting begins
- August 3rd: Special Election Day. Polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- October 4th: Deadline for voter registration for the Nov. 2 general election
- November 2nd: General Election Day. Polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
On Monday, Secretary LaRose helped celebrate the 246th birthday of the United States Army on Flag Day at a ceremony held at the U.S.S. Cod Submarine Memorial in Cleveland.
Later in the day, the Secretary met with the Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Baiju Shah. The GCP is the largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the nation and is a tireless advocate for economic development and growth in Northeast Ohio.
On Wednesday, Secretary LaRose met with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) as part of a diplomatic effort to deepen Ohio's cultural and economic friendship with Taiwan.
The Secretary toured Ohio Ordnance Works in Chardon.
On Thursday, Secretary LaRose provided proponent testimony for HB294, the Ohio Election Security and Modernization Act. Included in the legislation are two longtime priorities of the Secretary -- a secure online absentee ballot request system and a verified voter registration system to provide for more accurate voter rolls.
The Secretary addressed both the Buckeye Boys State at Miami University and Buckeye Girls State (virtually) to applaud their interest in public service and encourage them to remain involved in public policy and civic engagement. Each year, the American Legion -- Ohio's largest veterans organization -- sponsors an eight day government immersion program for thousands of Ohio high school students to learn more about Ohio's system of governance in an effort to instill a sense of service to keep them engaged in public participation and advocacy.