Ohio voters this fall will vote on a referendum that, if passed, will allow only American citizens to cast ballots. But even though that should be a nonpartisan issue, it wasn't in the Ohio House, Frank Larose, the state's secretary of state, said on Newsmax Saturday.
The Ohio Senate passed the measure to get it on the ballot, the Ohio Republican said on Newsmax's "America Right Now." "Unfortunately, the same issue went to the Ohio house and, uh, and passed with very few Democrats voting to support it, so maybe they had a different view over in the Ohio House than they did in the Ohio Senate."
But still, Larose said he believes Americans from both parties "believe that citizenship is important and it has value."
"I believe if you asked a group of new citizens, people that had just taken that oath, if we should diminish the thing that they worked so hard to earn, they would tell you to protect citizenship, protect voting and keep it as a right that's only available to citizens," Larose said.
He added that many states do not have laws protecting the vote, and he is hoping to start a trend this week among other secretaries of state at the national convention in Louisiana, which he is attending this weekend.
"One of the things that we saw in Ohio is that a small, very liberal village called the village of Yellow Springs back in 2020 tried to allow non-citizens to vote. I had to step in as secretary of state and prevent them from doing that, but it may have been a tenuous situation if it had gone to court," said Larose. "So what we're trying to do in Ohio is to just make it loud and clear right there in our state constitution that the right to vote is for all citizens, but only for citizens."
Larose on Saturday also discussed the national economy, as economists and business leaders are warning of a recession, and noted that the start of new businesses in Ohio is seeing "massive downturns" as well.
"We had a record in 2020 with over 176,000 new businesses," he said. "In 2021, we got to almost 200,000 with 196,000 new businesses started."
But now, "we are way off base right now for the spring and summer months of 2022," said Larose. "That can only be attributed to the fact that new business owners know that it's going to be very difficult to grow a business in this Biden economy that they're facing."
Meanwhile, Ohio had a contentious primary election for the U.S. Senate with J.D. Vance coming out with the win, and Larose said he does think the GOP will end up supporting Vance in November.
"He's a good man, and he's going to be an excellent United States senator," said Larose. "I think that Ohioans are going to do all that they can to prevent Tim Ryan from serving in the United States Senate and trying to bring more liberal and dangerous policies to that body."
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