Ohio Elections Are Underway
The 2022 general election has officially begun. On Friday, our county boards of elections began mailing approximately 3,000 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) ballots to registered Ohio voters who are either stationed overseas for military duty or are currently working abroad.
It's now election season, and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose encourages every Ohioan to be fully engaged in the November 8 election that will chart the path forward for our communities, our state, and our nation.
Driving Voter Registration
Democracy works best when our citizens fully participate in the electoral process. Each election, every Ohioan has the uniquely American opportunity to make their voice heard on how we wish to be governed by the officials we choose to represent our interests.
While encouraging Ohioans to register to vote is a never-ending priority for the Secretary, this week Secretary LaRose traveled the state as part of National Voter Registration Day to talk to Ohioans about their opportunity to impact their own lives by becoming an Ohio voter. At an array of events, Secretary LaRose joined with collaborative partners and like-minded patriots to turn more Ohioans into voters.
These voter registration efforts -- in concert with the registration activities conducted by boards of elections, voter advocacy groups, and civic-minded Ohioans -- pushed the state's voter registration over 8 million registrants. Ohio now has 8,001,581 registered voters, and the Secretary is grateful to all of those who worked so hard to encourage their fellow Ohioans to become engaged in our democratic process.
But the work is far from done. The voter registration deadline is October 11, and Secretary LaRose will continue to encourage Ohioans to sign up to vote until the boards of elections close on deadline night.
Below are some of the highlights of the Secretary's voter registration events over the past week.
Second Call to Duty
Secretary LaRose served in combat duty in the Middle East and elsewhere as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces and continues to serve as a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army Reserves. Knowing that our service men and women have an innate sense of civic engagement, the Secretary created a "Second Call to Duty" initiative to encourage his fellow veterans across the state to serve as poll workers in alignment with the pledge they made when they took the Oath of Enlistment.
On Monday in Summit County, Secretary LaRose spoke to his fellow veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #349 in Fairlawn to encourage all of them to register to vote and prod their family, friends and colleagues to do the same.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #349
Raise a Glass to Democracy
In 2020, amid the challenges presented by the covid-19 pandemic, traditional voter registration activities were not possible. Because the drive to get more Ohioans registered can never rest, Secretary LaRose launched the Raise a Glass to Democracy initiative to enlist the help of breweries, by asking them to promote voter registration through signage and stickers on their products. This year, the registration campaign expanded to include wineries and distilleries from across Ohio to participate in this effort, and now the Raise a Glass coalition is more than 100 strong and growing. Learn more.
Raise a Glass to Democracy celebrations at Sonder Brewing in Mason and Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland
Styling for Democracy
Also in 2020, the Secretary created the Styling for Democracy program to enlist the help of beauty salons, barbershops, and barber colleges to sign up staff to be poll workers, register their families, friends, and customers to vote, and help inform the community about requesting absentee ballots. The program has proven to be remarkably successful with more than 250 businesses participating across Ohio.
On Tuesday, Secretary LaRose was joined by Greg Beasley from Urban Kutz Barbershop at Great Lakes Brewing to promote the Styling for Democracy initiative. It makes perfect sense to partner with hair salons and barbershops for voter registration efforts, as politics and community issues are frequently a topic of discussion in their shops. As the Secretary likes to say, if you are talking about politics at the barber shop and are not registered to vote, talk is all you can do.
Styling for Democracy partners Michael Damico from Allstate Hairstyling & Barber College and Greg Beasley from Urban Kutz Barbershop
Youth at the Booth
Also on Tuesday, Secretary LaRose, a Copley alum from the Class of ’97, visited Copley H.S. to celebrate National Voter Registration Day and speak to some 450 juniors and seniors about the processes for registering to vote and serving as poll workers in the November 8 general election. The Secretary stressed to the students the importance of becoming leaders in their schools, in their communities, and in civic involvement at all levels.
New Business Numbers for August Announced
On Thursday, Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced 15,815 new business filings in August 2022, a slight uptick from the 6-month low last month. While this serves as a slight 2.7 percent increase from August 2021, new business creation is still down nearly 13 percent from the same point last year.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses Small Business Optimism Index reported this month that “twenty-nine percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, a decrease of eight points from July’s highest reading since the fourth quarter of 1979.”
“The small business owners I speak with are doing everything they can to cope with inflation, but it’s still a big problem,” said Secretary LaRose. “Washington’s egregious spending only exacerbates the issue facing all Americans and continues to serve as a constant challenge for small businesses in Ohio.”
By 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 work to simplify the process for starting a business 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. The Secretary has held dozens of roundtables throughout the state with community, legislative and business leaders to spread the word about the resources available for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses.
- 15,815 new businesses were created in August 2022, a 2.7% increase from August 2021.
- 123,674 new businesses have been created in 2022 so far, averaging 15,459 per month. 142,057 had been created at the same point last year.
- 2019, 2020, and 2021 were all record-setting years in Ohio for new business creation. In 2021, Ohio surpassed the annual filing record with 197,010 new business filings.
- Ohio entrepreneurs can visit OhioSoS.gov/BusinessResources to discover the helpful opportunities available to them that can help them start and grow their business.
Ohio Business Tips and Reminders
Inflation is putting a large strain on small business owners throughout Ohio, but we have your back!
Visit Ohio Business Resource Connection to connect to resources that may help you start or grow your business.
Is your business information up-to-date?
Check your business registration and ensure your statutory agent, address, contacts, and other information are up to date.
Business identity theft is a major threat facing job creators.
Protect your business by signing up for alerts.
Election Dates and Reminders
The November 8 election will include the following races:
- Statewide executive offices, including Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer
- U.S. Senate and House
- Ohio Supreme Court
- Ohio House and Senate
- State board of education
- Local government races and issues
Upcoming Voting Schedule:
- September 23 -- Military and overseas absentee voting begins
- October 11 -- Deadline for voter registration
- October 12 -- Early in-person voting begins
- November 8 -- Election Day, polls will be open 6:30 am to 7:30 pm
Register to vote online at VoteOhio.gov.
Additional Meetings and Events
Dayton Minority Business Roundtable
On Thursday, Secretary LaRose convened a Minority Business Roundtable at West Social Tap and Table, a unique food hall and bar in Dayton's historic Wright and Dunbar District. The Secretary routinely meets with minority business owners and entrepreneurs to share with them information about resources that might be useful to start and grow their businesses. The Roundtables provide a forum to learn more about the successes and challenges facing minority businesses as part of a collaborative effort to help keep Ohio a business-friendly state.
Lebanon Chamber business owners
Also on Thursday, Secretary LaRose met with community and business leaders from around Warren County to learn more about their insights as entrepreneurs and job creators.
Celebrating New Americans
On Tuesday, 88 new US citizens from 43 different countries were sworn in at a Dayton Naturalization Ceremony. Kenny Henning, a regional representative of Secretary LaRose, joined the Montgomery County Board of Elections to help these new Americans get registered to vote.
Registering Voters in Warren
On Sunday, Secretary LaRose attended a service at Grace AME Church in Warren, and following the service, helped distribute voter registration information to the parishioners.
In Case You Missed It
See the public service announcement that is running statewide encouraging Ohioans to vote on November 8. The Ohio Secretary of State is grateful for the Ohio General Assembly's support in promoting the importance of participating in our democratic process. Watch, or click on the image below. A new PSA promoting Ohio's three secure and accessible ways to vote is currently in development.
From brews to hairdos, Ohio is utilizing businesses to register voters and recruit poll workers
The state is partnering with different businesses, community groups, and individuals to ramp up voter registration and to try and recruit more poll workers for the November general election in Ohio.
The Ohio Secretary of State’s office is promoting their initiatives which includes Styling for Democracy, a program that works with cosmetologists, barbers, and schools to sign up their staff up to be poll workers, register friends and customers to vote, and raise awareness about absentee ballots. According to the secretary of state’s office, more than 350 businesses have participated.
There’s another campaign that works with the craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries – called Raise a Glass to Democracy – to ramp up participation in the elections.
Raise a Glass distributes voter registration and other elections information at the alcohol establishments as well as on the labels of their products. That means participating companies will feature wine bottles, liquor bottles, and beer cans with stickers with the words “Every Vote Count” along with a website that directs people to more information. More than 100 establishments are participating in the program.
Ohio also has the Restore Your Right to Vote program which allows people who have been convicted of a felony but have been released from prison to register to vote.
As Secretary of State Frank LaRose pointed out, other states do not allow formerly incarcerated people to regain their right to vote. But not in Ohio.
“Once you have done your time, once you've been involved in the criminal justice system and then gotten out, that you can restore your right to vote you can become a registered voter again,” said LaRose.