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Ohio Secretary of State Week in Review for the Week Ending May 20, 2022

Recruiting the Next Generation of Voters

In the Centennial High School gymnasium on Monday, 200 juniors and seniors gathered to learn about civic engagement and hear how they can take control of their futures by becoming voters. Ohio Secretary of State LaRose visited the central Ohio high school as part of Ohio’s Grads Vote initiative. The Grads Vote program engages high school seniors by sending them the information they would need to register to vote or serve their communities by becoming a poll worker. This year, the Grads Vote program reached out to 1,189 Ohio high schools and 143,180 students. As students entered the gym on Monday, Secretary LaRose handed them their voter information packets personally and talked to them about the power of the vote, their role as future leaders, the rewarding experience of serving their community as a poll worker, and even walked them through how easy it is to register to vote.

Frank LaRose speaks to students at Centennial High School Twitter Video


Reaffirming the Right to Vote is for U.S. Citizens Only

On Wednesday, Secretary LaRose released the following statement after the introduction of joint resolutions in the Ohio Senate and House to propose an amendment to the Ohio Constitution prohibiting local governments from allowing non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections. State Senator Lou Blessing and State Representatives Bill Seitz and Jay Edwards introduced the companion resolutions in their respective chambers.

“American elections are only for American citizens, and the cities in other states that have granted non-citizens the right to vote in local elections are undermining the value of what it means to be an American. I have presided over naturalization ceremonies and know that for newly sworn-in American citizens, securing the right to vote is a treasured achievement - a right they have worked hard to achieve. These new Americans know better than anyone that this precious right should not be cheapened by giving it away to those who haven't earned it.

“This is a smart preventative measure that will provide the certainty needed to ensure this right is protected for Ohioans. Make no mistake, efforts to give away voting rights to non-citizens have already been attempted here in Ohio. As recently as 2020, I was able to put a stop to a misguided effort by the Yellow Springs Village Council when they tried to bestow the precious right to vote to non-citizens.

“I fully support the General Assembly’s efforts to enshrine this fundamentally American democratic right in the Ohio Constitution, and I look forward to working with legislative leaders to allow Ohio voters the opportunity to affirm that the functioning order of our government across our state will be determined only by U.S. citizens.”

In 2020, the Village of Yellow Springs attempted to allow non-citizens the right to vote in local elections. In response, Secretary LaRose issued a directive to the Greene County Board of Elections which ordered the board to reject non-citizen voter registrations and put measures in place ensuring only citizens are allowed to vote. Learn more.


Rising Inflation Slows New Business Creation

As inflation continues to rise to record levels throughout the nation, small business optimism has reached an historic low. In fact, the NFIB National April Small Business Optimism Index reached the lowest point in the survey’s 48-year history, citing inflation as a major problem facing small businesses. In the same survey, 70% of respondents said they had to increase their prices just to survive. Another survey conducted in March by Veem found that one quarter of small businesses sampled are concerned about whether their business will survive amid rising inflation.

“We’ve seen working Ohioans continue to pay the price for the current administration’s lack of leadership in reining in record high inflation,” said LaRose. “Now, it’s Ohio small businesses who are left to suffer. The time for political games is over. It’s time for action. My message to Ohio entrepreneurs -- I will continue to fight the bureaucratic incompetence in Washington and work with our legislative leaders to ensure the Buckeye State remains the destination state for starting a new business.”

Over the last three years, Secretary LaRose helped tear down barriers to business creation by eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles for entrepreneurs. By streamlining certifications for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses and modernizing how limited liability companies (LLCs) are incorporated in Ohio, the state continues to work to help entrepreneurs and job creators prosper.

QUICK FACTS:

  • 15,488 new businesses were created in Ohio in April 2022, a 20% decrease from the previous month and 26% decrease from April 2021

  • 2019, 2020, and 2021 were all record-setting years in Ohio for new business creation. At the same point in 2021, Ohio surpassed the single month filing record with 22,176 new business filings

  • 65,884 new businesses have been created in 2022 so far, averaging 16,471 per month

  • Ohio entrepreneurs can visit OhioSoS.gov/BusinessResources to discover the helpful opportunities available to them that can help them start and grow their business


Military Appreciation Month

May is Military Appreciation month throughout our nation. This week, with Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day around the corner, Secretary LaRose -- an Army Special Forces veteran and current reservist -- attended several military appreciation events across the state.

In an airplane hanger turned museum in Clermont County and surrounded by World War II planes, Secretary LaRose keynoted the Batavia Rotary Club’s Military Appreciation Luncheon. The somber event focused primarily on an issue on the minds of many Americans – veteran mental health and suicide. The Secretary talked to the group about the lifetime commitment service members make and their unique and profound value in our community.

The Secretary also attended the MilVets Annual Armed Forces Day Luncheon. The ceremony honors those who serve and offers scholarships to ROTC cadets and service members. Secretary LaRose presented the group a proclamation from his office and spoke to the group of veterans and military families about continuing their service in their communities.


Additional Meetings:

Secretary LaRose stopped by the Clermont County Board of Elections Tuesday while in the county. Boards of elections throughout the state continue to work toward certifying the May 3 primary election results and prepare for the post-election audit process carried out after each election. The Secretary and the staff discussed their experiences during the May 3rd election and lessons learned.

Thursday, Secretary LaRose partnered with the University of Dayton to host a minority business roundtable. As economic conditions continue to worsen nationally, Secretary LaRose remains dedicated to listening to small business leaders and working together to find solutions to ease their burdens. Read more.

While in Dayton, Secretary LaRose had the opportunity to visit with an inspirational Dayton entrepreneur with an incredible mission. Chace Concessions Food Truck, started by Tae Winston, brings awareness and understanding to individuals with autism. Her son Chace, for whom the business is named, was diagnosed with autism at an early age. Tae uses the business to educate people about autism, provide work opportunities to those with special needs, and even donates a 50% of the first Sunday of the month’s profits to the Autism Society of Dayton.

Chace Concessions Twitter Video

Thursday, Secretary LaRose visited Daybreak Transitional Housing, a youth crisis center serving homeless and vulnerable youth in the Miami Valley. The Secretary talked with participants and staff about ways to ensure they are still able to make their voices heard by becoming voters, in spite of their challenging circumstances. He also discussed Safe at Home, an address confidentiality program for domestic abuse survivors.

Adams County held their Capitol Day this week where they bring local leaders to meet with their representatives and state leaders in Columbus. Secretary LaRose spoke to the group, focusing on continuing their partnership with our office to serve as local ambassadors for voting in their county and ensuring local entrepreneurs are aware of resources available to them. He also gave them an update on the May 3rd election.


In Case You Missed It

Springfield News-Sun

Springfield News-Sun: Greene Co. Board of Elections told to reject non-US citizen voting in Yellow Springs

July 30, 2020

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose ordered the Greene County Board of Elections to reject non-citizen voter registrations and put measures in place to ensure only citizens are allowed to cast their ballot in November.

LaRose made the ruling after voters in the Village of Yellow Springs this spring approved a village ordinance that would allow village residents to register and vote in village elections even if they are not U.S. citizens. In his directive sent to the Greene County Board of Elections on Thursday, LaRose said the measure violates both the U.S. Constitution and the Ohio Constitution.

“Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, the village of Yellow Springs forces me as Ohio’s chief elections officer to restate the obvious — only U.S. citizens may vote,” LaRose said.

Passage of Issue 5 in Yellow Springs allows residents who are non-citizens to vote for Yellow Springs local issues and elected officials. The rules were created because of the village’s home-rule authority and granted by the charter.

The issue passed by a margin of 727 to 571, according to unofficial results from the Greene County Board of Elections.

LaRose cited the Ohio Revised Code in his order, saying “While it is true that Ohio’s Constitution confers “home rule” powers on Ohio’s municipalities, those municipalities may only exercise home rule powers “as are not in conflict with the general laws.”

[…]

Thursday’s letter directed the board to prohibit non-citizens from registering to vote, by Aug. 3, and to cancel the voter registrations of any non-citizen residents of Yellow Springs who may have already registered to vote. It also directed the board to prohibit any non-citizen residents in the village from voting on Yellow Springs ballot issues or for Yellow Springs candidates in any election in the village which the Greene County board is administering.

“Incredibly, I’m being put in a position where I need to remind a village here in Ohio that a vote is a sacred right which many have fought and bled to protect — but only a right that is earned by birth or the oath of citizenship,” LaRose said.

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