Posts Authored by Matthew R. Koppitch

Ohio Governor DeWine issues three-week statewide curfew

On November 17, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the administration is issuing a statewide curfew that takes effect on Thursday, November 19, 2020. Under the curfew, individuals are to be at home from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. The curfew lasts for 21 days. The Governor previously signaled he was considering closing in-person dining at bars and restaurants as daily case counts crept up over 8,000 per day. For a summary of the state-wide and county-specific orders, read the full article. 

General News

2020 general election update

On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, Ohioans, like the rest of the country, cast ballots in the 2020 general election. Many counties in Ohio and around the country reported record-breaking early voter turnout. Approximately 3.4 million Ohioans voted early by mail and in-person, and an estimated 311,519 absentee and provisional ballots remain outstanding. This early vote played a role in the way in which Ohio was called by most media outlets and continues to delay the results of several key Electoral College states.

Here is Bricker & Eckler’s overview of the preliminary 2020 General Election results and details on races of particular interest.

Election Law

Did you receive the wrong absentee ballot? Here’s what you should do

The Franklin County Board of Elections announced that 49,669 voters in the county received the wrong absentee ballots. Election officials are saying that a setting on the machine that stuffs absentee ballots into mailing envelopes was mistakenly changed. The Board of Elections is still investigating the incident, but officials believe the mistake was inadvertent. 

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose directed the Board of Elections to mail correct ballots to voters with a letter explaining the error. Franklin County’s Elections Director Ed Leonard said new ballots will be mailed out within three days. The County Board of Elections also stated a list of affected voters will be posted on their website. For more, read the full article

Election Law

Ohio Governor and General Assembly updates

The Bricker & Eckler government relations team has compiled a comprehensive review of Governor DeWine’s latest announcements, including the surprise resignation of Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, General Assembly actions, including a marathon floor session by the Ohio House, and a look ahead through the end of June 2020 and into the summer. For more, read the full article.

General News

DeWine announces more Ohio reopenings

On May 14, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced that childcare providers may reopen on May 31. Childcare providers will have increased cleaning and sanitizing requirements, and class sizes will be reduced. Playground and outdoor activities will be permitted, but field trips will not be allowed. Additionally, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted announced several other reopenings, including that day camps are permitted to open on May 31, with new safety guidelines and protocols being announced on May 15. Ohio BMVs will reopen on May 26, but the administration is still urging Ohioans to utilize online BMV services. Campgrounds may reopen on May 21. Horse racing may resume on May 22, but spectators are prohibited. However, the administration noted that racinos and casinos cannot yet reopen. For more, read the full article

General News

Ohio COVID-19: Stay Safe Ohio order

On April 30, 2020, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed and extended Ohio’s stay-at-home order until May 29, 2020, called the “Stay Safe Ohio Order.” The order keeps the stay at home order in effect but permits certain business sectors to resume operations. Under the guidelines provided by the order, different sectors of the economy are scheduled to resume operations, provided they follow additional protocols and guidelines as applicable to the business. Even businesses originally defined as essential in the previous order, must follow the new set of guidelines. For more, read the full article.

General News

2020 Ohio Primary Election: Results and summary

Ohio’s primary election cycle concluded on April 28, 2020. Here are election results for the U.S. President, U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio Supreme Court, and key Ohio Senate and Ohio House races.  Read more >>

Election Law, General News

DeWine's State of the State address postponed

Governor Mike DeWine has postponed his annual State of the State address due to the coronavirus, according to a press release from his office. Originally scheduled for March 31, 2020, a new date for the address has not been set but will be after Ohio’s state of emergency is lifted. Read the full press release here.

General News

Governor DeWine seeks to postpone primary election to June

March 17, 2020 Update: Polls will be closed March 17, 2020. Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton have executed an order closing all poll locations due to the extreme health risk of COVID-19. As developments occur, we will have updates available. 

March 16, 2020 Update: Franklin County Judge Frye has rejected Governor DeWine's request to move the election to June 2, 2020. The primary will be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 as previously scheduled. 

During Governor DeWine’s March 16, 2020, COVID-19 press briefing, Ohio officials announced the difficult decision to postpone the state’s Primary Election, scheduled for March 17, to June 2, 2020. Governor DeWine noted that he does not have the authority to extend the election, so an emergency lawsuit will be filed seeking postponement of the election. The governor also noted that he could not urge people to stay at home while at the same time urge people to exercise their right to vote. Therefore, delaying the election ensures that Ohioans will be able to cast a ballot but will also help reduce the risk of further infection. Joining Governor DeWine at the press conference, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose made clear that health and safety were non-negotiable. Secretary LaRose said that absentee voting by mail will continue. Votes previously cast through early voting will remain in storage and will get counted on June 2. As developments occur, we will have more information and updates available on our COVID-19 Resource Center.

Election Law, General News

Want to honor a public official? Make sure you're in compliance

Recently, the Ohio Ethics Commission, in Advisory Opinion Number 2019-01, provided additional guidance on ceremonial gifts for public officials and employees. Public officials are often honored by groups for longstanding service or advocacy and may receive personalized items reflecting their contributions. Ohio law forbids public officials and employees from accepting a gift of substantial value from a party that is interested in matters before, regulated by, or doing or seeking to do business with the public employee or official’s agency. This creates a dilemma for both the public official and the group providing the ceremonial gift. For more, read the full story

General News
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