***NEW*** Download the Columbus Chamber Post-Election Analysis ***NEW***

The Role of the Columbus Chamber

  • A reliable resource on voting for our members
  • A non-partisan organization working closely with our partners in government regardless of party affiliation
  • Our Government Affairs Steering Committee (GASC) analyzes, develops, supports, and influence public policies that impact the Columbus region business community
    • A core function of the GASC is to evaluate ballot issues and issue recommendations on whether to endorse or to oppose
  • Connect business owners with programs to engage you in the electoral process
  • Help businesses engage employees in the electoral process

Why Vote?

  • Raise the voice of the Columbus region business community
  • Ensure that the needs of businesses are well-represented in government
  • Elect and re-elect candidates that prioritize issues of shared interest and importance to your business

The Process

  1. Registration: the first step in voting; must be done in order to vote
  2. Education: knowing about the process, issues, and candidates in order to be an informed voter
  3. Turnout: showing up or mailing in your ballot to cast your vote

Important Deadlines

  • October 5: Voter registration
  • October 6: Early Voting starts; requested absentee ballots mailed starting today
  • November 2: Last day to mail absentee ballot
  • November 3: Election Day
  • November 13: Absentee ballots returned by U.S. Mail must be postmarked no later than Nov. 2 and received by boards of elections by this date to be counted
  • November 24: Boards of elections must complete canvass of the Nov. 3, 2020 general election ballots no later than this date

Register

  • To register to vote, or to update your voter registration online visit: https://olvr.ohiosos.gov/
  • You will need the following:
    • Name
    • Current Residential Address
    • Date of Birth
    • Ohio Driver’s License or State ID Number
    • Last Four Digits of Your Social Security Number
  • If you do not provide all of the above you will be prompted to print out a paper form to send to the Board of Elections

Educate

  • Review your sample ballot to learn every item that you will be voting on
  • For the November 2020 election, the Columbus Chamber urges members and the community to vote in support of:
    • City of Columbus Issue 1
    • City of Columbus Issue 2
    • Franklin County Issue 24

Chamber Ballot Issue Endorsements

Official Press Release

Columbus Issue 1 – Energy Aggregation

  • By voting in support of Issue 1, voters will allow the City of Columbus to bulk-purchase energy on behalf of residents and approximately 22,000 small businesses, providing competitive pricing and local control of energy sources, and spurring a rapid shift to renewable energy.
  • The cost to participate in the aggregation program will be clear and transparent. Participation is voluntary and small businesses can opt-out at any time at no cost, and businesses may choose to continue shopping for lower energy prices on the open market.
  • Community Choice Aggregation serves as a strong economic development tool to attract and retain business to the City of Columbus. We know that large technology companies, for example, are selecting sites in jurisdictions that share their renewable energy goals. And more and more small businesses are weighing in to support policies that will spur innovation and increased use of renewable energy sources.
  • In addition to supporting Issue 1, the Columbus Chamber is working to support our members’ sustainability goals. We have partnered with Worthington Energy Consultants (WEC), to bring member businesses energy brokerage services and related energy-saving programs. WEC uses strategies, resources, and analytics to help clients make the best energy decisions tailored for their organization. WEC helps businesses become more knowledgeable with their energy sourcing, and spend less on electricity and natural gas commodities.

Columbus Issue 2 – Civilian Police Review Board

  • Issue 2 proposes to amend the City’s Charter to establish a Civilian Police Review Board and create an Inspector General for the Columbus Division of Police to conduct independent investigations into complaints of police misconduct. The board will have subpoena power, the authority to initiate complaints and recommend resolutions.
  • The Columbus Chamber welcomes policing reform policies at the local, state, and federal levels of government. We support well-funded and strong public safety programs that hold the trust of every community they serve; where business owners, entrepreneurs, and all members of the workforce and their families feel safe and protected, and have the ability to reach their full potential.
  • Issue 2 will hold law enforcement accountable. Passage is a necessary step in our journey towards meaningful reform, and towards keeping all individuals within our communities and our workforce safe.
  • The creation of this Board will instill a sense of business normalcy, preventing further property damage to downtown small businesses, and allowing people to feel safe to patronize them.
  • We are not experts in policing policy. But we do recognize that relationships between segments of the police and the Black community are strained and must be improved upon. We believe the Chamber can stay true to our mission of helping all businesses grow and flourish while also supporting change and being part of this relevant and much-needed conversation to advance racial justice and equity.

Franklin County Issue 24 – ADAMH Levy

  • Issue 24 is a 5-year, 2.2 mill renewal levy with a .65 mill increase. The existing 2.2 mill property tax levy is set to expire in December of 2021. If passed, property owners would pay an additional $1.90 per month or $22.75 more per year per $100,000 in property value for the increase, on top of the current rate of $4.98 per month or $59.86 per year per $100,000 in property value under the renewal.
  • Research suggests that for every dollar spent today addressing community health issues such as addiction and mental health, there is a $4 return in improved health and productivity. Increased funding now will help save the community money later on.
  • The Columbus Chamber Foundation works tirelessly to connect underserved populations of individuals to the workforce. It is the work of ADAMH and its partners that ensure individuals are healthy and well enough to enter or reenter the labor force.
  • ADAMH’s revenue is $5 million less this year than it was a decade ago. The levy millage for ADAMH has not increased in nearly 30 years while the number of people seeking help has grown dramatically—rising 72 percent since 2014. ADAMH needs additional funding to address the increasing opiate crisis and devastating suicide rate affecting Franklin County.
  • 75% of businesses say they’ve been impacted by the opioid epidemic, with prescription opioids costing employers almost $42 billion in lost productivity every year. The coronavirus pandemic is taking a significant toll, with Franklin County showing a 65 percent increase in overdose deaths during the first six months of 2020 as compared to 2019.
  • The Columbus Chamber was a founding member of the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance and is committed to being part of the solution to addressing the crisis. Over the last few years, nearly one-third of ADAMH’s budget has been dedicated to address the county’s opioid crisis. Additional funding is needed to continue to fight this crisis, which is why passage of Issue 24 is so essential.

Turnout

  • In-person on election day
    • Show up to your assigned polling location on the day of the election and vote in person
    • Polls open from 6:30am to 7:30pm
    • Strong safety protocols in place
  • In-person early voting
    • Show up to your county’s board of elections to vote in person before election day
  • Absentee (mail-in) voting

Absentee Voting
It’s safe, secure, and simple!

  • Request an application, or download and print your own
  • Turn in application
    • Track your Absentee Ballot from Request to Ballot Acceptance using BallotTrax: www.franklincountyvotes.com
    • Receive ballot, mark selections and fill out ID envelope and return ballot by deadline
  • Deadline for returning an absentee ballot
    • Postmark by Monday Nov. 2, 2020 and received within 10 days of Nov. 3, 2020
    • Drop off at the Board of Elections by 7:30pm on Nov. 3, 2020

How to Engage Employees

  • Voter registration drive
  • Invite candidates to present to your workforce
  • Share resources like this presentation!
  • Give time off on election day to vote or encourage early voting
  • Give time off to serve as poll workers
  • Encourage participation in Chamber events

“A Call to Serve”
Become a poll worker

  • Employers are encouraged to give their employees the day off on election day to become a poll worker.
  • Requires a time commitment of 5:30am – 8:00pm.
  • Under the new Lawyers for Liberty program, The Supreme Court of Ohio will award CLE credit to any Ohio attorney who serves as a poll worker during the November 3, 2020 Election.
  • Sign up here.

Chamber Events

Columbus Chamber 2020 Government Day: Business Drives Government

Connect and hear directly from elected officials such as Senator Portman, Governor DeWine, Mayor Ginther, and most of the region’s statehouse legislative delegation on issues that impact their business, more efficiently and effectively navigate government complexity, facilitate connections with key stakeholders, and raise the collective voice of the Columbus Region business community at the local, state and federal levels of government.

Government Spotlight: Post Election Analysis

This panel will prepare Chamber members for 2021 and beyond! Expert political analysts will break down the impact on business and the economy of whoever is elected president, highlight the local races that should be on your radar, as well as the ballot initiatives endorsed by the Chamber, and how the coronavirus influenced voter turnout.

Partners & Resources

Official resources can be found online:

Partners in Office
Auditor Stinziano

“The National Voter Registration Act charges elected officials at every level of government with promoting participation in elections. This year, we can do that not only by encouraging voting, but by supporting those who serve as poll workers. I urge business owners here and across Ohio to join us in supporting this work by providing  paid leave to those who serve as poll workers in this critical election.”

Download the full Columbus Chamber Voter Engagement Initiative Presentation

Contact

For more information, please reach out to Holly Gross, Esq., Vice President, Government Relations, hollygross@columbus.org or 614.225.6903.