COLUMBUS – Secretary Husted today released the Ohio Secretary of State’s 2018 Annual Report. The report outlines a series of initiatives the office has championed over the most recent state fiscal year, including achievements in the areas of business services, elections, and fiscal stewardship.
“We weren’t just marking time over the past year,” Secretary Husted said. “We set priorities, rolled up our sleeves and got to work for Ohioans. The last year saw us increase ballot access in our elections, shred more bureaucratic red tape, and follow through on the promise to run our office without using a single taxpayer dollar.”
In early 2017, Secretary Husted announced plans to operate his office without the use of taxpayer dollars for state fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Not only has Secretary Husted made good on that commitment, but since the start of his administration in 2011, office cash reserves have grown by 242 percent.
These savings have gone beyond the Secretary’s office and reached Ohio’s taxpayers and businesses alike. Last year was the eighth consecutive record-breaking year for new business filings in Ohio, and April 2018 marked the best month for filings in state history. These achievements were spurred by a series of innovative efforts to modernize business services in the Secretary of State’s office, including a 21 percent reduction in filing fees and ensuring that all business filings can now be submitted online. Today, four out of every five businesses are launched online.
Secretary Husted’s commitment to job creators and workforce development was highlighted in late-2017 when he embarked on a Workforce Development Listening Tour. Traveling throughout Ohio, the Secretary met with various educators, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders to learn of the current challenges facing job creators in Ohio. As part of that series, the Secretary shared information about the many reforms his office has championed to improve conditions for businesses looking to take root in Ohio.
On the elections front in 2018, the Secretary of State’s office pursued a series of initiatives to promote civic engagement and make it easier for Ohioans to vote in the coming years. Changes included a new, easy-to-use online search for voters to look up the status of their registration, as well as the implementation of “last chance” mailing urging inactive voters to respond or update their voter registration before cancellation. Secretary Husted also announced that newly acquired funds from the Helping America Vote Act (HAVA) will be used to enhance elections security. Projects being funded with HAVA funds include election security workshops, improvements to the statewide voter database, post-elections audits, and partnering with “pathfinder” consultants to assist in systems security and readiness.
More information can be found in the Ohio Secretary of State’s 2018 Annual Report.