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

Jul 8, 2021

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 Secretary 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.” 

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. 

Here's the language from the law that is in question: