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Ohio Secretary of State Week in Review for the Week Ending April 15, 2022

Early Voting Continues in Ohio

With Tuesday marking exactly three weeks to go before the May 3rd primary election, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that 71,296 absentee ballots have been requested by mail or in-person and that 11,935 votes have been cast statewide.

Data collected by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office from Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections after the first week of early voting show the following:

Ballots requested: Democratic 34,830 Republican 35,045 Non-partisan 1,421. Ballots cast early in person: Democratic 4,606 Republican 5,181 Non-partisan 150. Total ballots returned and submitted for counting: Democratic 5,672 Republican 6,058 Non-partisan 205

“Reports from the first week of early voting show exactly what we expected – our bipartisan election officials were ready and the election is running smoothly,” said LaRose. “With three weeks to go until election day, voters are making their voice heard in a number of important races that will shape the future of our nation, our state, and even the community where they raise their family.”

Early voting continues in the weeks leading up to election day. For all your trusted election information, visit VoteOhio.gov.

Strong Poll Worker Recruitment Numbers

According to Ohio's Poll Worker Tracker, as of this Wednesday, 31,433 Ohioans signed up to serve as a poll worker in the May 3rd primary election. The minimum number of poll workers needed statewide is 30,295. Twenty-four counties have already met the minimum number of poll workers needed.

In order to ensure a sufficient number of poll workers are available in case of an emergency, Secretary LaRose has set a goal of 34,846 poll workers statewide, or 115% of the minimum. Twenty-one counties have already met that goal. Those counties are: Allen County, Athens County, Belmont County, Brown County, Clinton County, Fairfield County, Fayette County, Gallia County, Hocking County, Holmes County, Madison County, Meigs County, Mercer County, Morgan County, Noble County, Pickaway County, Portage County, Ross County, Shelby County, Union County, and Wood County.

“This is such a strong start in our effort to ensure every polling location has the workforce they need to serve the voters on May 3rd,” said LaRose. “Our poll worker tracker is doing its job – letting us know which counties are in good shape, and which need a little more support to get where they need to be. We’ll make sure that happens.”

Ohioans looking to engage in our democratic process by serving as a poll worker on May 3rd may sign up at VoteOhio.gov/DefendDemocracy.

Cleveland Sight Center

Exceptional customer service is essential, especially when an organization’s mission is to help provide for a prosperous economy and thriving democracy for all Ohioans. This week, Secretary LaRose visited again with the hard-working people at the Cleveland Sight Center, a phone bank center, who are on the front lines of interaction with Ohioans in need of the services provided by the Ohio Secretary of State.

The Cleveland Sight Center employs Ohioans who are blind or have other disabilities, providing meaningful, competitive employment. The Secretary’s office contracts with the remarkable workers at the Center to ensure every Ohioan gets top notch care and attention. Since their work with the Secretary’s office began, the Sight Center team has become an essential extension of the office, handling thousands of calls with only a 24 second average hold time.

Secretary LaRose visits the team at the Cleveland Sight Center.

Listening to Ohio Business Leaders & Entrepreneurs

As job creators and entrepreneurs continue to face supply chain issues, workforce challenges, and rising inflation, it’s now more essential than ever that their voices are heard. With the Ohio Secretary of State serving as the front door for new business, Secretary LaRose meets regularly with business groups from around to state to look for ways Ohio can cut bureaucratic red tape and create a more prosperous climate for growth. This week, the Secretary met with the Akron and the Vandalia Chambers of Commerce to learn about their successes and challenges and discuss the initiatives he's currently spearheading to secure Ohio’s national reputation as one of the most business-friendly states in the nation.

Secretary LaRose meets with local business leaders from the Akron Chamber of Commerce.

Secretary LaRose meets with local business leaders from the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce.

Secretary LaRose Responds to the Ohio Supreme Court Ruling

Secretary LaRose issued the following press release on Thursday in response to the Ohio Supreme Court’s invalidation of state legislative district maps:

“Ohioans should continue to cast their ballots on or before May 3 to ensure their voices are heard in this important primary election,” said LaRose. “The court’s latest ruling has no impact on that election at all, and contests for statewide, congressional, and local offices and issues will proceed as scheduled. This ruling only impacts state legislative and political party central committee contests, which have yet to be scheduled.”

In its ruling, the majority opinion stated the following:

“It is unclear as to why August 2, 2022, is the last available date for a primary election in Ohio. We note that several states will have primary elections on August 16, 2022, or later, including four states that will have their primary elections in September.” [Page 31: https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2022/2022-ohio-1235.pdf]

This statement by the Democratic members of the court and the Chief Justice indicates a shocking and clear ignorance of Ohio law. Despite having a former Secretary of State on their panel, the majority did not consider the fact that each state’s election system is unique, or that Ohio’s elections have their own statutory requirements, and because of these requirements it would require a violation of Ohio law for any primary to be held after August 2. In fact, the filing deadline for nominating petitions for nonpartisan races in the General Election, as set in Ohio law, is August 8, 2022. To be clear, any primary held after August 2 would directly conflict with the statutorily required deadlines of the General Election.

Additionally, the majority on the court fails to contemplate that Ohio law also allows for special elections to take place on August 2, and several counties are expected to conduct a special election to consider local issues. These elections include their own statutorily required deadlines, from early voting periods beginning four weeks before election day to the completion of the official canvass 21 days after Election Day. Requiring a different primary election to take place on a date within the August 2 election window would not only cause significant voter confusion, but it also wouldn't be physically possible without each impacted county board of elections doubling their staff and each piece of election infrastructure.

“The part I find most alarming about this ruling is the flagrant disregard for the critical timing and deadlines of Ohio’s elections process,” said LaRose. “Despite having the first-hand knowledge of a former chief elections officer on its bench, the court's majority ignores and, in fact, attempts to rewrite the key requirements of election administration literally spelled out in the law. We will reinforce those statutory timelines to the federal court and hope that constitutional convictions prevail.”

Election Reminders & Updates

Early in-person voting schedule. Week 1 Tuesday April 5 to Friday April 8 from 8am to 5pm. Week 2 Monday April 11 to Friday April 15 from 8am to 5pm. Week 3 Monday April 18 to Friday April 22 from 8am to 5pm. Week 4 Monday April 25 to Friday April 29 from 8am to 7pm and Saturday April 30 from 8am to 4pm. Week 5 Sunday May 1 from 1pm to 5pm and Monday May 2 from 8am to 2pm.

In Case You Missed It

Richland Source

Richland Source: LaRose: Biden policies foster illegal immigration, drugs & human trafficking into U.S. (Opinion)

COLUMBUS -- The Biden Administration recently announced it would end Title 42, pandemic-era border controls.

Make no mistake, this will only increase the already skyrocketing flow of illegal migration, drugs, and human trafficking across our southern border.

As an active duty soldier I served as part of a counter-narcotics task force on the U.S./Mexican border -- so I know firsthand how dangerous and foolish this is.

In 2021, there was an increase of more than 350% in illegal migrant encounters and this summer it is expected to be even worse.

Meanwhile Democrats across the country are working to give non-citizens the right to vote in our elections. It's currently allowed in New York, San Francisco, and even in suburbs of our nation's capital.

Read more.

The Daily Jeff

The Daily Jeff: Oil and gas production expected to increase in Guernsey County

Industry experts expect to see an increase in oil and gas production in the Utica Shale region including Guernsey County this year due to a rising demand resulting from global issues and domestic usage.

Guernsey County currently has 300 Utica shale well permits and the most active producers in the county are Ascent Resources with 130 permits, Southwestern Energy with 69 and Utica Resources with 31.

(…)

There are 12 drilling rigs currently in operation in the Utica region across southeast Ohio.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, more than 275,000 gas wells had been drilled statewide as of 2019 with 2.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas production. The most recent statistics available also show 55,921 oil wells have produced 27 million barrels of crude oil.

"I think it's strong," said LaRose of Ohio's oil and gas industry "Ohio has done smart things to be a welcoming state when it comes to energy, and there's good reason for that. All you need to do is look to Europe right now."

Read more.

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Rob Nichols
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