Ohio Secretary of State
2013 marked a year in which my office continued to make it easier to voter and harder to cheat when it came to elections, as well as cut through the red tape and roll out the red carpet to businesses. And we are doing more and spending less.
Committed to reducing operational costs, I was able to save taxpayers $2.5 million during the 2012 Presidential Election compared to the 2008 Presidential Election. My office has also been able to reduce staffing by 25 percent from a peak of nearly 200 in November 2008, to less than 150 today. In fact, Fiscal Year 2013 marked the lowest payroll spending in six years.
While our work is far from completed, my office has made tremendous progress and I would like to take this opportunity to share a few highlights from the past year, as well as some of the work that lies ahead.
Modernizing and Improving Elections in Ohio
· Marked major achievement of clearing nearly all duplicate registrations as part of the ongoing effort to clean up Ohio’s Statewide Voter Registration Database, ensuring more accurate and up-to-date voter rolls.
· Worked with county boards of elections to compile first-ever statewide report on voter fraud and suppression following 2012 Presidential Election.
· Conducted a review of the voter rolls and discovered 291 non-citizens were registered to vote in Ohio, 17 of which cast ballots in the 2012 General Election … Concluding that non-citizen voting exists, it’s rare and violators are being held accountable.
· Surpassed $200,000 in grants awarded to improve access at polling locations throughout Ohio, funding 75 projects to date.
Future of Election Reform
· Redistricting Reform - continuing efforts to fix our broken system for drawing congressional and legislative districts.
· On-line voter registration - making it easier to vote, preventing intelligible voters from registering and saving tax dollars…. I will continue to push for this long-overdue reform.
Serving Businesses in Ohio
· Made starting a business easier with launch of online filings in October 2013. Read more here.
· Commitment to quality customer service and improved process for starting a business led to record year in 2012 with 88,068 filings, and 2013 is on track to surpass that record.
· Highlighted a number of outstanding companies based in our state through the Ohio Business Profile initiative. Since launching the program in June 2011, more than 200 businesses have been featured.
Education and Civic Engagement
· Launched a public service announcement contest designed to engage Ohio’s youth and encourage their participation in reminding Ohioans about the importance of voting. Read more here.
· Unveiled two new online sites, www.OhioFoundingFathers.com and www.OhioHistoricalDocs.com, that places important historical documents and information at the fingertips of all Ohioans.