Listening to Ohioans
Every ten years, the district boundaries for Ohio's ninety-nine House districts, thirty-three Senate districts, and U.S. congressional districts must be redrawn to reflect the population changes documented in the most recent U.S. Census. Pursuant to two Ohio Constitutional Amendments overwhelmingly approved by Ohio voters, the newly formed Ohio Redistricting Commission, which includes Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and a bipartisan group of state elected officials, is tasked with redrawing each of those legislative districts.
Throughout the week, the Redistricting Commission hosted regional hearings to hear directly from Ohioans on ways in which Ohio could improve our map making process. Over the course of the week, the Commission listened to more than thirty hours of thoughtful testimony and input from Ohioans in Cleveland, Youngstown, Dayton, Cincinnati, Zanesville, Rio Grande, Lima, Toledo, Akron and Mansfield. The information gathered at these regional meetings will help guide Commission members as they work collegially and collaboratively to develop new legislative districts.
More information, including a link to watch all the regional hearings, can be found at redistricting.ohio.gov.
Women's Equality Day
Just over 100 years ago, women won the right to make their voices heard in elections. The Secretary celebrated that achievement by asking board of election officials from all over the state to discuss what the right to vote means to them, and why they work hard every day to make sure every legal voter in Ohio can honor the suffragists who fought so valiantly for equality and representation.
Don't Mess with Ohio
Voter intimidation is abhorrent, unpatriotic, and illegal — but it unfortunately still exists.
In keeping with the Secretary’s mantra that voting must be accessible to every eligible Ohio voter, the Secretary has a history of being proactive to protect that right, and long ago partnered with leaders in diverse minority communities to form the Diversity and Empowerment Council (DEC), to spread truth and report instances of voter intimidation and fraud. In October of 2020, upon receiving a call from Congresswoman Marcia Fudge that there was a voter suppression campaign underway in Cleveland, the Secretary consulted and confirmed it with the DEC and immediately referred the matter to law enforcement. Said Secretary LaRose at the time, “There’s a Cleveland grand jury who indicted two bad guys who are going to face justice for it. Our office played a role in helping to make sure that these people face justice. They were trying to confuse and intimidate voters. We won’t tolerate it.”
And it worked! Two misinformation peddling robocallers are facing justice!
Continuing the Fight Against a Federal Election Takeover
After the failed passage of HR1, the federal takeover of state elections, House Democrats have tried again by passing similar legislation in HR4.
After touring several of Ohio’s board of elections to learn why Ohio is the “gold standard” for how to run elections, Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) was right when he said HR 4 is a shameful partisan power-grab, cynically cloaked as a “voting rights” bill. Congressman Davis, who is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Administration which oversees federal elections, then asked, “If it is easier to vote today than at any time in our history, and more Americans are voting than ever before, then why are Democrats going to such extreme measures to ensure a federal takeover of elections?”
"Something needs to change, and fast."
Many Ohioans have asked the Secretary how he feels about the horrifying situation in Afghanistan, particularly in the wake of thirteen U.S. Service members killed by a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport. He stated, “While I pray for those brave Americans and innocent Afghans hurt in this cowardly attack, I’m angered by the gross incompetence that got us here. [President Biden] needs to step up and lead boldly and decisively before more Americans are harmed.”
Focused on New Business Creation
On Thursday, the Secretary spoke with the Miami Township Economic Development Council at a business roundtable discussion to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship, explore ways to improve new business formation, and describe the array of resources available to business startups as they they continue coming in at a record pace.
Important Election Dates & Reminders:
- Underway: Early Voting Began on August 17 for the Toledo and Cleveland Municipal Elections
In Case You Missed It:
For August, the Secretary has highlighted agriculture businesses for the Ohio Business Spotlight. Farms are the backbone of Ohio’s economy, and countless small businesses work day in and day out to support farmers and help get food from the farm to the table. The Richland Source shared how one such business garnered its place in the Spotlight.
The Knox Pages wrote about the new Knox County Board of Elections office opening from last week, sharing sentiments expressed in the Secretary’s keynote address that many other counties would be envious of the new construction, but that we should also be mindful of the professional election officials and poll workers who will work there to maintain Ohio’s status as the gold standard of election administration.