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Ohio Secretary of State Week in Review for the Week Ending July 22, 2022

Providing National Leadership on Election Security & Integrity

This week, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose delivered congressional testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security in a hearing entitled, "The Changing Election Security Landscape: Threats to Election Officials and Infrastructures."

Secretary LaRose was one of only two Secretaries of State nationally invited to address Congress, and in his testimony, the Secretary highlighted Ohio's successful efforts to protect our elections systems and infrastructure from cyber attacks and physical attempts to breach election security.

Last month, the Secretary released Security Directive 3.0 to Ohio's boards of election -- a 31-point checklist that establishes new security standards for vendors, strengthens physical security requirements, prevents purchasing of equipment from dangerous foreign entities, and modernizes cybersecurity capabilities. County boards have until December 31, 2022 to comply with the new requirements.

From the Secretary's closing remarks:

"Integrity matters. It’s what our elections are built upon. As Thomas Jefferson put it, our government derives its “just powers from the consent of the governed”. We can’t maintain that consent if we aren’t always moving forward and finding ways to balance election security and accessibility. Whether it’s the post-election audits we require after every election, staffing our county boards of elections with a balanced team of bipartisan election officials working collaboratively and professionally, or new security upgrades that protect our systems from those who would do it harm – we have a duty to maintain. It’s an oath I swore to protect, and it’s a model I hope we can share with the nation."


Week 2 Early Voting Numbers Released for the August 2 Primary

The August 2, 2022 Primary/Special Election is less than two weeks away. On Wednesday, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that 72,970 absentee ballots have been requested by-mail or in-person for the state legislative and executive committee races and that 29,702 votes have been cast statewide in those same races.

These figures were collected by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office via an informal survey of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections. The information below includes data reported by the county boards from the start of early voting on Monday, July 11 through the end of early voting hours on Friday, July 15.

Ballots requested: democratic 45,777 republican 21,193. Ballots cast early in person: democratic 7,939 republican 6,339. Total ballots returned and submitted for counting: democratic 17,426 republican 12,276

"Voter participation in the August 2 primary is gaining in momentum, but we need to continue to encourage Ohioans to get to the polls," said Secretary LaRose. "The votes Ohioans cast in this primary will shape the future of our state and our communities, and August 2 is our opportunity to chart the future of our great state."


Lack of Action on Inflation Continues to Impact New Business Growth in Ohio

On Thursday, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced 14,589 new business filings in June 2022, a 16% decrease from June 2021. This is the third consecutive month in which the number of new businesses was fewer than the previous year.

Nearly six in 10 U.S. workers say their paycheck is not enough to support them or their families, much less allowing them to invest in starting a new business. The chilling effect inflation has on business creation is measurable in June's new business filing numbers, delaying many families from attaining their American dream.

“The gravity of higher costs continues its impact on Ohio’s entrepreneurs,” said LaRose. “As inflation grows unabated, our leaders in Washington continue sitting on their hands. Ohio’s job creators deserve better.”

Through streamlining certifications for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses and modernizing the process for limited liability companies (LLCs) to incorporate in Ohio, Secretary LaRose continues to tear down barriers to business creation in Ohio.

Over the past three years, Secretary LaRose has also expanded the Ohio Business Resource Connection, a compilation of private and public resources available to assist businesses at OhioSoS.gov/BusinessResources.


Important Dates, Deadlines, and Reminders

Ohio voters will find the following races on their August 2 primary ballot:

  • Ohio House of Representatives
  • Ohio Senate
  • Democrat/Republican State Central Committee
  • Local issues, questions, and measures impacting their communities

Week 4 early in-person voting hours: Mon. 7/25 - Fri. 7/29 8 am - 7pm Sat. 7/30 8am - 4pm

If mailing your absentee ballot, the envelope must be postmarked on or before August 1, 2022.

Early In-person Voting Hours:

  • July 25-29 8am-7pm
  • July 30 8am-4pm
  • July 31 1pm-5pm
  • August 1 8am-2pm

Election Day, August 2 - polls are open from 6:30am-7:30pm

NOTE: Voting locations may have changed from previous elections. Ohioans should confirm their polling location.

Click the images below for the trusted information you need for this election:

Find your district

Learn how Ohio's elections are secure!


Poll Worker Tracker Shows Recruitment Has Surpassed Minimum Workers Needed, Closing in on Ohio's Goal for the August 2 Primary

COLUMBUS – With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, Ohio's Poll Worker Tracker shows Ohio gained more than 2,600 poll workers in the past week, and as of Monday, August 18, 27,371 Ohioans have signed up to serve as a poll worker in the August 2, 2022 Primary/Special Election. The minimum number of poll workers needed statewide is 24,653. Also as of Monday, sixty-six counties have now met the minimum number of poll workers needed to administer their counties' elections.

In order to ensure a sufficient number of poll workers is available in case of unexpected circumstances, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has set a goal of 28,353 poll workers statewide, or 115% of the minimum. Currently, thirty-five counties have met their goal numbers.

Ohioans looking to serve as a poll worker may sign up at VoteOhio.gov/DefendDemocracy. Poll workers are financially compensated for their time on Election Day.

The county breakdown can be seen on Ohio’s Poll Worker Tracker. The tracker, which was started in 2020 by Secretary LaRose, continues to give Ohioans, counties and partner organizations clear goals for poll worker recruitment for the August 2 primary.

Sign up to be a poll worker


In Case You Missed It

Cleveland.com

Secretary of State Frank LaRose highlights Ohio election security measures at Capitol Hill hearing

WASHINGTON, D. C. -- When someone plugged an unauthorized laptop into Lake County’s government computer network during Ohio’s 2021 primary elections to show its election system was hackable, the effort ‘failed and failed miserably” thanks to rigorous security measures taken by election officials throughout Ohio, Secretary of State Frank LaRose told a congressional committee on Wednesday.

A 2019 security directive requires Ohio’s 88 counties to comply with a 34-point checklist of physical and cybersecurity requirements to keep out “bad guys,” LaRose testified at a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing on threats to election security and infrastructure.

Because all county election computer systems are siloed off from other county offices, “anyone thinking they can use the county computer system to infiltrate the board of elections would find they had hit a hard brick wall,” LaRose said. Even if they somehow plugged a computer into the county board of elections system, it would be immediately blocked because it would be recognized as an unauthorized computer, LaRose continued.

“What this perpetrator may not have realized is that there is a completely separate element of election infrastructure which is never connected to the internet, not even capable of an internet connection, and which is rigorously tested before every election and audited after every election,” LaRose said. “Anything that touches a ballot – scanners, voting machines, and tabulators – are 100% air-gapped. Simply put, the Lake County attempted breach never had a chance of succeeding because of the forward-thinking cybersecurity protocols we developed in 2019 and the county boards of elections that worked so hard to implement them.”

Read full article.

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It may catch some voters by surprise, but Ohio has another primary/special election coming up Aug. 2. It will require just as much support as more traditionally scheduled elections, but so far for this one, the number of poll workers signed up is not quite enough to get the job done.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, the minimum number of poll workers needed statewide is 25,764. As of mid-July, 24,741 Buckeye State residents had registered. Further, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has set a goal of 29,634 poll workers statewide, to prepare for any unforeseen challenges.

LaRose said. “Central to that success are our tens of thousands of battle-tested, civic-minded legions of dedicated poll workers who faithfully and professionally put in the long hours to ensure Ohio’s elections remain a national standard bearer. Despite the fact that Ohio’s primary election is being held at an unusual time of year, poll worker recruitment is strong and I am confident that we will reach our goal in advance of August.”

Time is running short, however. Those who are interested should sign up at VoteOhio.gov/DefendDemocracy. It’s easy to talk about the kinds of people who ensure our democratic republic keeps rolling forward as it should; it’s just a little tougher to be one of those people. But you can do it. Sign up now.

Read online.

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Rob Nichols
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