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Ohio Elections Chief Says Public-Private Efforts Won't Be Affected by Budget

Secretary of State Frank LaRose's new collaboration toast
Ohio Secretary of State's Office
Sec. of State Frank LaRose toasts "get out the vote" partnership with breweries in 2020. The state's new two-year budget has a provision that prevents public-private partnerships, and although election rights advocations say this will hurt many voter programs, LaRose says it won't.

The newly passed Ohio budget contains a provision that prevents public-private partnerships with boards of elections. Election rights advocates fear that could lead to the end of many effective voter education and registration efforts. But Ohio’s top elections leader says he’s not worried. 

Republican Sec. of State Frank LaRose says the language is not going to prevent voter registration or education efforts with barbershops and other businesses. 

“I see no reason why those kinds of things can’t continue. And as I have talked to members of the legislature, it was not their intent to keep us from doing partnerships like that. What they wanted to target was this idea that large amounts of outside philanthropic money could be used for elections administration,” LaRose said. 

In 2020, LaRose's office partnered with 50 Ohio breweries to get voter information out ahead of the presidential vote. 

LaRose says he thinks groups that urged Gov. Mike DeWine to veto the measure have read more into that provision. 
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.