Ohio Business Startups Dip Again; LaRose Blames Inflation

Inflation is taking a toll on startup businesses in Ohio, dropping the state’s new business filings by more than a quarter from a year ago, according to Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

LaRose pointed to two surveys from the National Federation of Independent Business that show inflation continues to be a significant factor for small business and small business optimism both nationwide and in Ohio.

Read More

LaRose Directs Ohio Counties to Move Forward with Second Primary

Calling a federal court’s order to implement state legislative district maps that were twice ruled unconstitutional a temporary solution, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose directed county boards of election to move forward with preparations for an Aug. 2 primary election.

Read More

House Passes Bill Allowing Ohio Election Officials Limited Connection to Private Groups

Confusion for some Ohio boards of election forced a new bill that walks back at least part of a law stopping election officials from working with nongovernmental entities.

The Ohio General Assembly tacked the legislation onto its budget last year. Despite assurances from lawmakers and Secretary of State Frank LaRose the ban would not create an issue for local election officials, Attorney General Dave Yost issued an opinion in January that said the new law criminalizes partnerships with private groups, but most routine work is OK.

Read More

Ohio’s Record Run of Business Startups Stops

Ohio’s record run of business startups ended in April, and Secretary of State Frank LaRose blamed rising inflation for discouraging entrepreneurs from creating new business.

LaRose on Thursday also called on leaders in Washington to put politics aside and work to bring rising costs under control.

Read More

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose Calls on Federal Government to Address Inflation

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose called on the federal government to address record inflation that is impacting small businesses across the state.

According to LaRose, his office received only 15,488 new business filings in April 2022—a dramatic decline from previous months. In March, he got 20 percent more applications.

Read More

We the People Convention Endorses John Adams for Ohio Secretary of State

We the People Convention, an Ohio-based nonprofit that advocates for limited constitutional governance, endorsed former state Rep. John Adams for Ohio Secretary of State.

Adams is running in the GOP primary against incumbent Frank LaRose, who recently gained the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

Read More

Federal Court Imposes May 28 Deadline on Ohio Redistricting Commission

A federal court gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission until May 28 to draw state legislative redistricting maps that meet a court order, or it will implement a previously rejected map so the state can hold an Aug. 2 primary.

The three-judge panel, voting 2-1, said it would impose the commission’s third set of maps because the state had started preparing to use those maps before they were declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Read More

Ohio Election Officials Say Second Primary Must Be August 2

Ohio election officials said the state could not hold its second primary any later than Aug. 2, despite an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that suggested the state could easily hold an election later in August or even September.

The Ohio Association of Election Officials said overseas and military ballots, along with other requirements for testing voting systems and proofing ballots, make Aug. 2 the last day to have a primary for state legislative offices if the same rules are to be met for the November general election.

Read More

Ohio Redistricting GOP Say They Had No Options for State Maps

Republican members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission say they did everything the state Supreme Court ordered them to do. Still, they say independent map makers ran out of time, leaving tweaks to a previously unconstitutional GOP plan as the only option for new state legislative districts.

The responses from Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, State Auditor Keith Faber, Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, and House Speaker Robert Cupp, R-Lima, came at the 9 a.m. deadline on Monday the court gave to show cause why the group should not be held in contempt.

Read More

Independent Map Makers Get Orders from Ohio Redistricting Commission

Two independent map makers could have a first draft of state legislative maps to the Ohio Redistricting Commission by Thursday night, a day after getting their instructions.

The commission faces a Monday deadline to have new maps on the desk of Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who must have the maps to the Ohio Supreme Court by 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Read More

State Legislative Races Removed from Ohio’s May 3 Primary

Ohio voters will not be able to decide on candidates for the state Legislature during the May 3 primary after the state Supreme Court struck down new district maps for the third time.

In a letter to House and Senate leadership and Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said it was no longer logistically possible to include district-specific legislative races on the ballots.

Read More

State Official: More Money Needed for Ohio Primary Elections

Frank LaRose of Ohio

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose wants more money from the General Assembly to conduct the state’s May 3 primary after continued delays in creating new district maps increased pressure on county boards of elections.

LaRose, who also is a member of the Ohio Redistricting Commission that twice had maps thrown out by the Ohio Supreme Court, also ordered county boards to start taking steps to place candidates for the General Assembly on the ballot, even though the court has yet to approve a third set of maps passed late last week.

“The General Assembly has the legal authority to set the time, place, and manner of our elections, and they’ve made it clear that the state House and Senate contests will be placed on the May 3 ballot,” LaRose said. “I’ve also communicated to the legislative leaders the risks associated with rushing this process. Elections officials across Ohio are concerned about the compressed timeline for candidate certification, ballot preparation and the programming and testing of voting equipment.”

Read More

Ohio GOP Vice Chairman Vows to Block LaRose: ‘Endorsing Frank LaRose’ Renders ‘Republican Principles Meaningless’

The Ohio Republican Party’s vice chairman announced Tuesday in an email to all members of the state party’s executive council and the central committee that he intends to block an endorsement of Secretary of State Frank LaRose at Friday’s central committee meeting at Lewis Center’s Nationwide Conference Center.

“Dear Fellow Ohio State Republican Central & Executive Committee members: At our state committee meeting Friday, I plan to move to block the endorsement of Frank LaRose,” wrote Bryan C. Williams, who is also the chairman of the Summit County Republican.

Read More

Ohio Investigation Reports 27 Potential Instances of Voter Fraud out of 6 Million Votes

Of the nearly 6 million votes cast in Ohio during the November 2020 general election, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says 27 potentially were illegal and have been referred to local prosecutors.

LaRose sent 62 referrals of potential election fraud to either Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost or other prosecutors. Of those, 31 were noncitizens who registered to vote but did not cast a ballot. The others may have cast a ballot in the 2020 general election or illegally in an earlier election.

Read More

Ohio Begins to Purge Voter Rolls of Dead, Moved Residents

Ohio’s 88 boards of election began the process of removing inactive voters and those who have moved from the state’s voter rolls this week, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said.

The four-year process identifies voters who have not voted in an election for at least two years and those that appear on the National Change of Address database. Each of those identified would be sent a confirmation notice informing them of their inactivity and how to remain active.

Read More

Election Board Says Gubernatorial Candidate’s 2020 Presidential Election Vote Cast, but Not Recorded in His History

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Last week a Republican primary candidate for the 2022 Ohio gubernatorial race uncovered that his vote in the 2020 Presidential Election was not reflected in his voter history on the Franklin County Board of Elections (FCBOE) website.

Joe Blystone, a Canal Winchester rancher and first-time political candidate, requested FCBOE investigate the matter.  FCBOE later determined that Blystone’s vote was cast but not recorded in his voter history. 

Read More

Ohio Secretary of State Has Serious Concerns About H.R. 1

While Congress continues to push toward voting law changes and efforts to federalize elections, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose continues to speak out in trying to protect states’ authority.

LaRose and the Ohio General Assembly were among the first a month ago to call attention to House Resolution 1, which LaRose said is a federal takeover of state-run elections.

Read More

Fifteen Secretaries of State Endorse Keep Nine Amendment

A group of 15 secretaries of state this week issued their support for the “Keep Nine Amendment” recently introduced in Congress, marking the latest victory for the organization seeking to preserve the independence of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Keep Nine Amendment said in a statement that the 15 sent the letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader of the House Kevin McCarthy.

Read More

2020 Presidential Election Sets Records in Ohio

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) held a press briefing at the Ohio State House on Tuesday to discuss the 2020 US Election.

“Way back in March and April we started to roll up our sleeves and figure out how are we going to run a Presidential Election in the midst of a pandemic. Obviously, this is an historic election. One unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said LaRose.

Ohio boasts 4,000 poll locations and 56,000 poll volunteers and to handle the estimated 6 million voters – which would break a record according to LaRose.

Read More

Ohio Secretary of State Wins Stay of Ongoing Ballot Box Issue

It’s a new week and with it comes another turn surrounding ballot drop boxes in Ohio.

After a federal district judge Friday sharply criticized Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and ordered multiple drop boxes at multiple locations be allowed, a federal appeals court stayed that order.

Read More

Republicans Argue Against Electronic Ohio Ballot Application

Ohio’s top election official acted reasonably when he barred counties from accepting absentee ballot applications electronically in the face of potential cyberthreats and a loosely worded law, lawyers for the state and Republicans argued in a court filing Wednesday.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s directive was also “consistent with more than a decade of bipartisan precedent,” according to groups including the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the state GOP.

Read More

Michigan and Ohio Secretaries of State Endorse Zuckerberg’s Millions Directed to Elections

Michigan and Ohio state secretaries Jocelyn Benson and Frank LaRose endorsed $300 million directed to elections by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. The Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL) and Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) announced Tuesday that Zuckerberg and his wife donated in order “to promote safe and reliable voting in states and localities.”

Both Benson and LaRose agreed that the investment was necessary considering the pandemic’s effects on the presidential election. LaRose reposted the press release the day it came out, citing the need for accurate information during voting.

Read More

Ohio Secretary of State LaRose Backs Get-Out-the-Vote Initiative After 21,000 Votes are Lost

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has partnered with barbershops and beauty parlors across Ohio as part of a get out to vote initiative.

The “Styling for Democracy” initiative comes after over 21,000 absentee votes for the state’s primary, about 1% of all absentee votes were lost. In an event in front of Columbus’ A Cut Above The Rest Barbershop, LaRose and local leaders called on the community to volunteer as election workers and vote in the upcoming election.

Read More

Dems Again Blast Secretary of State LaRose Over Postage for Ballots

State Democrats are again blasting Secretary of State Frank LaRose after the state Controlling Board did not hear his request for authority to pay return postage for absentee ballots.

Last week, LaRose said he wanted to use up to $3 million to pay for postage for absentee ballots cast in November’s election.

Read More

Kanye West Sues Ohio Election Head to Get on November Ballot

Rapper Kanye West sued Ohio’s election chief Wednesday in an effort to be placed on the November presidential ballot after the Secretary of State deemed him unqualified as an independent candidate.

West’s emergency filing against Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose comes days after the election’s chief rejected the nearly 15,000 signatures and other paperwork the rapper submitted earlier this month in an attempt to run for president, citing mismatched information on the signature-gathering documents.

Read More

Ohio Elections Chief Frank LaRose Seeks Openness for ‘Dark Money’ Groups

The source of money contributed to so-called “dark money” groups operating in Ohio and trying to influence the political process should be disclosed, with possible penalties for violating this requirement including a low-level felony and a substantial fine, Ohio’s Republican elections chief said Monday.

The Secretary of State should also have subpoena power for campaign-finance related records and groups trying to block the gathering of ballot initiative signatures should be required to register with the state, said Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

Read More

With Less Than a Week Left, Only 22 Percent of Registered Voters in Ohio Have Requested an Absentee Ballot for the Ohio Primary

Registered Ohio voters have not taken advantage of the extended primary election deadline as numbers released Tuesday by Ohio Secretary of State (OSOS) Frank LaRose shows low turnout.

With less than a week until the primary election deadline, only 1,667,883 Ohioans have requested a vote-by-mail absentee ballot. Ohio has 7.7 million registered voters, according to The Columbus Dispatch. This means that less than 22 percent of registered Ohioans have requested an absentee ballot.

Gov. Mike DeWine pushed back Ohio’s original primary election date from March 17 to April 28 after declaring a health emergency due to the coronavirus. People are expected to vote by mail rather than in-person. Only certain situations will allow Ohioans to vote in-person.

Read More

LaRose Draws Heat for Moving Primary Election Date, a Move Called ‘Anarchy’ and ‘Executive Fiat’

Skeptics are calling Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s June 2 primary election date theoretical, saying the Legislature, not he, has the power to move the date.

Adjectives that are being thrown around include “anarchy” and “executive fiat.”

LaRose is already dictating the rules 88 county boards of elections should follow, the Ohio Capital Journal said. These LaRose rules include the dictate that county boards of election should not accept any new voter registrations ahead of the not-yet-official June 2 election.

Read More

Ohio Democratic Party Sues Frank LaRose for Acting Without ‘Legal Authority’ in Setting New Primary Date

The Ohio Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose over the state’s chaotic postponement of the presidential primary.

Read More

House Democrats Want Answers on Change of Date for Ohio’s 2020 Presidential Primary

by Todd DeFeo   Democratic lawmakers from Cuyahoga County are seeking information about a “possibly reckless change” that moved the 2020 presidential primary to St. Patrick’s Day. Nine lawmakers from the Cleveland area sent a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose regarding the change of date from March…

Read More

Ohio Lawmakers Look into Strengthening State’s Election, Cybersecurity Efforts

by Steven Bittenbender   With election security frequently in the news, the Ohio House Transportation and Public Safety Committee took the opportunity recently to discuss a cybersecurity bill. The panel convened a hearing on Senate Bill 52, which deals with bolstering the state’s cybersecurity. A major part of the initiative…

Read More

Spring Business License Applications Set New Record in Ohio

Spring fever has citizens eager to start new businesses all over the state. In March, Ohio citizens set a state record for new business license application filings. Last month, Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office received 13,747 new business filings, beating the previous record by 873. “It’s a significant milestone,…

Read More