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Elected Officials

(The people who ask for our votes every two or four years)

Excerpt for the Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago by Mike Royko

"Later, when they sat down & went over the figures closely, they found an interesting pattern, Adamowski (the Republican candidate) had received fifty-one percent of the votes, cast by white persons. But the enormous black vote had given Daley (the Democratic candidate) his victory. The people who were trapped in the ghetto slums and the  nightmarish public housing projects, the people who had the worst school system and were most often degraded by the Police Department, the people who received the fewest campaign promises & who were ignored as part of campaign trail, had given him his third term. They had done it quietly, asking for nothing in return. Exactly what they got." 

As the Westside community, it's up to us to stay engaged, stay registered, vote in every election, and make sure we see returns our collective votes in the areas schools, improved daily services, and economic development in our communities.

Stay up to date with our seven (7) School Board members!

Stay up to date with our Mayor, City Commissioners, and municipal court judges

Stay up to date with our Montgomery County elected officials and Court of Common pleas judges!

Stay up to date with Appeals court judges, Supreme Court justices, and state of Ohio elected officials!

Stay up to date with Appeals court judges, Supreme Court justices, and state of Ohio elected officials!

What does the Dayton School Board Members Do?

In a nutshell, school board members set educational goals and establish policies for the school system based upon state laws and community values. The most important responsibility of a school board is to employ a superintendent and treasurer and hold them responsible for managing the schools in accordance with the school board’s policies. The superintendent reports to the School Board members.

Four votes out of seven are required to approve recommendations by the superintendent.


Elizabeth Lolli 


Board members do:

  • Make decisions on Hiring, evaluating, and terminating a superintendent and treasurer;

  • Setting district policy;

  • Planning student services;

  • Adopting curriculum;

  • Establishing budgets;

  • Acting in the best interest of the school district and within the scope of their legal authority; and

  • Creating community relations programs. 


Hiwot Abraha

Board members do not :

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of a school district; 

  • Board members are not education professionals.

  • They do not evaluate staff, other than the superintendent and treasurer;

  • They are not involved in employment interviews, other than those of the superintendent, business manager and treasurer. 

You can contact Dayton School Board members via email or by attending a School Board meeting. School Board meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 5:30p.m. Click the "Learn More" button learn about school board meetings.

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What does the City of Dayton Commission do?

The Dayton City Commission is comprised of the Mayor and four Commissioners. Each City Commission member is elected at-large on a non-partisan basis for four-year, over-lapping terms. All policy items are decided by the City Commission, which is empowered by the City Charter to pass ordinances and resolutions, adopt regulations and appoint the City Manager.


The Commission-Manager Plan, a form of government combines the strong political leadership of elected officials with the strong managerial experience of an appointed city manager. All power and authority to set policy rest with an elected governing body, the Mayor and Commissioners. The Commission in turn hires a nonpartisan manager who runs the organization. 

How the Commission-Manager Plan Works
The elected City Commission members represent their community and develop a long-range vision for its future. They establish policies that affect the overall operation of the community and are responsive to residents’ needs and wishes. To ensure that these policies are carried out and that the entire community is equitably served, the governing body appoints a professional manager on the basis of his/her education, experience, skills, and abilities (and not their political allegiances). If the manager is not responsive to the governing body, it has the authority to terminate the manager at any time.

The City Commission appoints four full time positions: The City Manager, The Director of the Commission Office, Secretary and Chief Examiner, nd Human Relations Council Executive Director.

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Shelley Dickstein

City Manager

Ariel Walker

Director of the

Commission Office

Rashella Lavender

City Clerk

Ken Thomas

Secretary and Chief Examiner

Erica Fields

Executive Director of Human Relations Councils

You can contact the Mayor and Commissioners via email or by attending a Commission meeting. Commission meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. on the first, third and fifth Wednesday of the month and  8:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Click the "Learn More" button learn more about the Commissions .

The Commission has control over:

  • City Manager;

  • All City Departments;

  • Dayton local laws;

  • Street traffic cameras;

  • Water services;

  • Trash services;

  • Sidewalk & Street repairs;

  • Dayton International Airport;

  • Dayton Public Departments; and

  • Dayton Fire Department.

The Commission does not control :

  • Highways;

  • Property Taxes;

  • Sale of Privately Owned Property in Dayton;

  • Montgomery County Sheriff;

  • Montgomery County Jail;

  • Montgomery County Courts; 

  • Dayton Metro Libraries;

  • Montgomery County Jobs & Family Services; and

  • Dayton Public Schools.

Dayton Municipal Court

 The court can only preside over incidents that occurred in the City of Dayton. The court has subject matter jurisdiction over

  • a violation of any ordinance of the City of Dayton;

  • any state of Ohio statutory misdemeanor or traffic violation committed in Dayton;

  • civil cases when the amount in dispute is $15,000 or less;

  • for small claims cases when the amount in dispute is $6,000 or less;

  • Property evictions in the City of Dayton; and

  • jurisdiction to preside over preliminary hearings for felony cases that occur in the City of Dayton.


Five full-time judges serve on the Dayton Municipal Court. Each judge is elected on a nonpartisan ballot to serve a six-year term of office. Judges must be attorneys, required to have practiced law for a minimum of six years and be residents of the City of Dayton. All judges are sworn to administer justice in every case and to ensure that the cases before them are conducted in an impartial and equitable manner. Annually, the judges elect a Presiding Judge and an Administrative Judge. These judges meet regularly with the Court Administrator to review the operations and policies of the court.


Two full-time magistrates are appointed by the court to hear certain civil cases, small claims cases, eviction procedures and initial appearances for defendants summoned in for arraignment. They also preside over minor traffic and criminal cases.

The Dayton Municipal Court appoints three full-time positions: Court Administrator and Magistrates.

The Dayton Municipal Court has control over:

  • Evictions;

  • Traffic violations;

  • License Intervention Programs;

  • Traffic Safety Program;

  • Electronic Home Detention;

  • John's School;

  • Offender Chemical Dependency Education;

  • Sexually-Oriented Supervision; &

  • Stopping the Violence program'

The Dayton Municipal Court does not control:

  • Criminal cases;

  • Lawsuits over $15,000;

  • Divorce, dissolution, legal separation, annulment, and civil domestic violence;

  • Juvenile offenses;

  • Guardianship;

  • Wills, estates, or Trust; &

  • Child support.

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Montgomery County Board of Commission

In a county commission form of government, a body of elected commissioners serves both the executive and the legislative duties, meaning they enact local ordinances and administer them. Three county commissioners (the Board of Commissioners): Control budget; approve zoning; approve annexations to cities and villages; set overall policy; oversee departments under their control

The Board of County Commissioners is the combined executive and legislative branch of county government but as their control over the independently elected officials is limited, there is effectively no real executive. Though the commissioners receive a full-time salary, most commissioners have full-time occupations on the side and so many boards hire a county administrator to oversee the county's day-to-day affairs. The board also employs a clerk to record its proceedings if it is deemed necessary to have a full-time clerk, otherwise the Auditor is ex officio the clerk. One of the members of the board is named president of the board.

The board of commissioners often create numerous subordinate departments to handle specific services. These vary from county to county; among the most common are departments for building and zoning, health, economic development, water and sewer service, and emergency management.

Any citizen of Ohio and the United States who is 18 years of age or older and lives in the county may run for commissioner.

The Board of Commission appoints two full time positions: County Administrator & Clerk of Commission.

This person runs the day to day of the county!

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Montgomery County Administrator

Michael B. Colbert

The Commission has control over:

  • Risk and Emergency Management;

  • Central Services & Purchasing;

  • Facilities Management;

  • Animal Resource Center;

  • Job & Family Services; and

  • Stillwater Center.


Emily Bradford

Clerk of Commission

The Commission does not control over:

  • Dayton City Manager;

  • All City Departments;

  • City of Dayton local laws;

  • Dayton Street traffic cameras;

  • Dayton Water services;

  • Dayton Trash services;

  • Dayton Sidewalk & Street repairs;

  • Dayton International Airport;

  • Dayton Public Departments; and

  • Dayton Fire Department.

Clerk of Court's Office

The Clerk of Court’s Office is the repository of public records for the Dayton Municipal Court. The Clerk, elected by the citizens of Dayton to a six year term, with his management and support staff of 42 full-time and 2 part-time Deputy Clerks, ensure the tasks of the office are adhered to and carried out as set forth in the Ohio Revised Code. Established administrative functions and legal processes ensure that the municipal court case documentation is recorded and maintained appropriately for the public record.


The Clerk of Court’s Office, serving in the appointed capacity as the Jury Commission for the Dayton Municipal Court, manages the administration, certification, and notification for approximately 8,500 prospective jurors annually. Summonses are issued for individuals to appear at court for jury duty on an as needed basis. Municipal court jury trials are short in duration, usually lasting only one or two days

Montgomery County Auditor

The County auditor values property for taxation; issues dog, kennel, and cigarette licenses; issues licenses for retailers for sales tax purposes; inspects scales, fuel pumps, etc., used in commerce to see that they are accurate; maintains county accounting records and issues annual financial reports

As fiscal officer, the auditor is responsible for maintaining county financial records and issuing warrants for payment of county obligations. As assessor, the auditor is charged with determining property values for taxing purposes and transferring real property deeds. And, as sealer of weights and measures, the auditor tests and certifies the accuracy of various commercial measuring devices.

In addition to these formal roles, the Auditor serves as administrator of the county's data processing center and secretary to the Data Processing Board, secretary to both the Board of Revision and the Budget Commission, and deputy registrar for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  Other duties include issuing dog and vendor licenses, certifying tax rates, administering various tax reduction programs and maintaining the county's tax map.

Any citizen of Ohio and the United States who is 18 years of age or older and lives in the county may run for auditor..

Montgomery County Clerk of Courts

The County clerk of court of common pleas: Keeps filings of lawsuits and orders of the county Court of Common Pleas, issues and records titles for motor vehicles.

The Montgomery County Clerk of Courts is a complex organization that serves the Common Pleas Court, General Division; Domestic Relations Court; County Municipal Courts; and the Second District Court of Appeals. The Auto Title Division offers a wide variety of services including titling of motor vehicles and processing passport applications.

Functions of the Clerk’s Office

  • Receive, docket, index, certify, and preserve the pleadings, court orders, and other legal documents that are filed with the courts

  • Serve court papers as required by law and as directed by the parties

  • Furnish preliminary case schedules and notices of hearings

  • Issue such writs as summonses, subpoenas, warrants, and executions

  • Receive, account for, and disburse deposits of money to cover court costs, fines, fees, and restitution according to statute and court order

  • Issue Certificates of Title for automobiles, motorcycles, mobile homes, travel trailers, campers, motor homes, and watercraft

  • Process U.S. passport applications as an authorized Passport Acceptance Agency

Any citizen of Ohio and the United States who is 18 years of age or older and lives in the county may run for clerk of courts.

Montgomery County Coroner

The County coroner determines causes of death in certain cases; is the only person with the power to arrest the sheriff

Any citizen of Ohio and the United States who is 18 years of age or older, lives in the county, and must be licensed to practice medicine for two years may run for coroner.

Montgomery County Engineer

The County engineer maintains county roads and land maps.

Responsibilities of the Montgomery County Engineering Division
The primary function of the Engineering Division is the design of county roads and bridges. Related functions include:

  1.  Procure the services of consultants and manage consulting contracts for the design of roads and bridges.

  2.  Bid and award construction contracts.

  3.  Inspect construction projects for compliance to construction plans.

  4.  Perform traffic studies. Collects and analyzes traffic volume for every county road on a three year cycle.

  5.  Maintain traffic accident records.

  6.  Review and approve new subdivision plans and inspect construction to assure compliance with approved construction plans.

  7.  Perform annual structural inspections of county bridges and report the result to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

  8.  Perform surveying functions in support of design and mapping projects.

  9.  Perform administrative functions for the District 4 Public Works Integrating Committee (Issue 2).

  10.  Perform administrative and engineering support functions for the Montgomery Soil and Water Conservation District.

  11.  Participate in the activities of local and state organizations such as the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and the County Engineers Association of Ohio.

  12.  Acting as engineer for the townships.

Any citizen of Ohio and the United States who is 18 years of age or older, lives in the county, and must be both licensed surveyors and engineers

Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney

The Prosecuting attorney prosecutes felonies and is the legal advisor to all other county officials and departments.

The Prosecuting Attorney is the chief legal advisor and attorney for Montgomery County. The responsibilities of the County Prosecutor include the prosecution of persons charged with felony offenses, providing legal advice and counsel to all county elected officials and county departments, handling legal proceedings involving juveniles who violate the law, researching, drafting and arguing all appeals of criminal and civil cases emanating from Montgomery County, and representing township trustees.

The primary function of the Prosecuting Attorney is to prosecute felony criminal cases in the county.

The Criminal Division handles cases before the

  • Grand Jury,

  • Preliminary Hearings in Municipal and County Courts,

  • hearings in Common Pleas Court,

  • Juvenile Court, the Court of Appeals, and

  • the Supreme Courts of Ohio and the United States. 

Prosecutors are also assigned to the County Courts and have jurisdiction in designated areas of the unincorporated townships.

Any citizen of Ohio and the United States who is 18 years of age or older, lives in the county, and must be licensed to practice law.

The Prosecutor has control over:

  • Adult Protection Unit: Domestic Violence & Elder Abuse;

  • Appellate Division: Criminal & Civil;

  • Criminal Case Management;

  • Child Abuse Bureau;

  • Child Protection Unit;

  • Civil Division;

  • Consumer Fraud Unit;

  • Criminal Division;

  • Diversion Division;

  • Juvenile Division;

  • Intake/Grand Jury Section; and

  • Victim Witness Division.

The Prosecutor does not control:

  • Evictions;

  • Traffic violations;

  • License Intervention Programs;

  • Traffic Safety Program;

  • Electronic Home Detention;

  • John's School;

  • Offender Chemical Dependency Education;

  • Sexually-Oriented Supervision; &

  • Stopping the Violence program'

Montgomery County Recorder

The County recorder keeps all land records, including deedssurveysmortgageseasements, and liens.

 The County Recorder's primary responsibility is maintaining the chain of title to real estate by the recording of all deeds, mortgages and conveyances of land and buildings within the county. Other duties assigned to the County Recorder include the recording of plats, powers of attorney, mechanics liens, military discharges, leases and financing statements. Copies of records and responding to public inquiries are vital services provided daily.

Any citizen of Ohio and the United States who is 18 years of age or older and lives in the county may run for county recorder.


Montgomery County Sheriff

The County sheriff is the Chief law enforcement officer, polices areas without local police, runs the county jail, acts as officer of the local courts (transporting prisoners, serving subpoenas, acting as bailiff, etc.)

Ohio has 88 counties and the Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer for each of those counties. His jurisdiction includes all municipalities, villages and townships within his county. Ohio law requires the Sheriff to preserve the public peace, provide protection to the unincorporated area of the county, serve court paperwork, operate and manage the jail, provide extradition services and transport prisoners

Any citizen of Ohio and the United States who is 18 years of age or older, lives in the county, and must have either a two-year college degree or five years of supervisory experience in law enforcement.

The Sheriff has control over:

  • Real estate Sheriff Sales;

  • Inspectional Services;

  • County Jail;

  • Traffic accidents outside of Dayton;

  • County Court Security;

  • Legal Process servers; and

  • Granting Concealed Carry Weapon Permits.

The Sheriff does not control:

  • Incidents that occur in the City of Dayton; and

  • Dayton Police Department.

Montgomery County Treasurer

The County treasurer collects taxes, invests county money, provides financial oversight to municipalities and school districts in the county.​ The Treasurer serves as the County's Chief Investment Officer, administrator of Delinquent Tax Collection programs and the keeper of Property Tax Escrow accounts.

Treasurer's Role and Responsibilities

County Treasurers, who are elected to four year terms, serve as the County banker, safe keeper of all taxes and investor of local funds. The responsibilities of County Treasurers include:

  • Collection of local taxes, particularly the real property and personal property taxes. They also are responsible for taxes on manufactured homes, inheritance, hotel-motel and special assessments.

  • Safe keeping of taxes collected in tax districts for the Schools, Cities, Townships and Villages.

  • Chief County Investment Officer who oversees the County's portfolio and provides to the County Investment Board financial data, investment instruments, forecasting and interest rate schedules.

  • Prepares daily and monthly statements of deposits into the County Treasury.

  • As a member of the County Board of Revisions oversees complaints of property owners who feel their property taxes are too high.

  • As a member of the County Budget Commission takes an active role in approving the level of spending for the cities, townships, and schools.

Any citizen of Ohio and the United States who is 18 years of age or older and lives in the county.


Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas

The Montgomery County Common Pleas Court consists of four divisions that provide timely and equitable service to the citizens of Montgomery County. Each of the divisions has a unique role for a specific area of the judicial process. Collectively, the Court is dedicated to delivering superior programs in public safety, corrections, rehabilitation, family law, probate, and civil justice.


While the Courts are, by law, separate entities, Judges and administrative staff work together on joint programs and projects designed to provide more cost effective solutions for the Courts. These joint efforts reduce expenditures as well as avoid duplication and inefficiency. 

The General Division Judges preside over bench and jury trials involving complex civil litigation as well as criminal cases where offenders can receive imprisonment for as little as six months or up to the remainder of their lives or, in the event of a capital murder case, may even receive the death penalty

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Ohio State Board of Education

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The Ohio State Board of Education is an elected executive agency of the Ohio state government, responsible for managing the state's public K-12 education. 

The State Board of Education is made up of 19 members - 11 who are elected and eight who are appointed by the governor. The chairs of the education committees of the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate serve as non-voting ex officio members. The Superintendent of Public Instruction serves as secretary of the State Board of Education.

Qualifications for serving on the Ohio State Board of Education are laid out in Section 3301.03 of the Ohio Revised Code. Board members must be registered voters living in Ohio. Appointed members must live in the education district they represent. At all times, at least four of the eight appointed members of the board must represent rural school districts. 

Ohio Second District Court of Appeals

The Ohio Second District Court of Appeals is one of 12 appellate districts in the state of Ohio. It presides over ChampaignClarkDarkeGreeneMiami and Montgomery counties in Ohio

The Ohio District Courts of Appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the U.S. state of Ohio. The Ohio Constitution provides for courts of appeals that have jurisdiction to review final appealable orders. There are twelve appellate districts, each consisting of at least one county, and the number of judges in each district varies from four to twelve. Each case is heard by a three-judge panel. 

Judges in Ohio serve six-year terms. They are elected in nonpartisan elections and must face re-election if they wish to continue serving. Elections take place in even-numbered years. In case of a vacancy, the governor appoints a judge. To continue serving, interim judges must run in the first general election taking place at least 40 days after the position became vacant. However, if a departing judge's term ends within one year of the next general election, the interim judge instead serves the remainder of the term.

To serve on the Ohio District Courts of Appeals, a judge must:

  • be a resident of his or her district;

  • be attorneys with at least six years of experience in the practice of law;

  • be under the age of 70.

Ohio Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the State of Ohio is the highest court in the U.S. state of Ohio, with final authority over interpretations of Ohio law and the Ohio Constitution. The court has seven members, a chief justice and six associate justices, each serving six-year terms and a total of 1550 other employees.

The Supreme Court is the court of last resort in Ohio. Most of its cases are appeals from the 12 district courts of appeals. The Court may grant leave to appeal felony cases from the courts of appeals and may direct a court of appeals to certify its record in any civil or misdemeanor case that the Court finds to be "of public or great general interest."

The Supreme Court also has appellate jurisdiction in cases involving questions arising under the Ohio or United States Constitutions, cases originating in the courts of appeals, and cases in which there have been conflicting opinions on the same question from two or more courts of appeals. The Supreme Court hears all cases in which the death penalty has been imposed. These cases currently include both appeals from courts of appeals affirming imposition of the death penalty by a trial court and, for capital crimes committed on or after Jan. 1, 1995, appeals taken directly from the trial courts. Finally, the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction extends to review of the actions of certain administrative agencies, including the Public Utilities Commission.

The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to issue extraordinary writs. These include writs of habeas corpus (inquiring into the cause of an allegedly unlawful imprisonment or deprivation of custody), writs of mandamus (ordering a public official to perform a required act), writs of procedendo (compelling a lower court to proceed to judgment in a case), writs of prohibition (ordering a lower court to stop abusing or usurping judicial functions), and writs of quo warranto (issued against a person or corporation for usurpation, misuse, or abuse of public office or corporate office or franchise).

All the seats on the court are elected at large by the voters of Ohio. Every two years, two of the associate justice seats are up for election. For one of those three elections in a cycle, the chief justice's seat is up for election. In order to run for a seat on the court, a person must be admitted to the bar in Ohio, and have practiced as a lawyer or served as a judge for at least six years. There is an age limit: One may not run for a seat on any Ohio court if one is more than 70 years of age. This limit often forces the retirement of long-time justices. 

Ohio House of Representatives

District 39

The Ohio House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Ohio General Assembly. Alongside the Ohio State Senate, it forms the legislative branch of the Ohio state government and works alongside the governor of Ohio to create laws and establish a state budget. Legislative authority and responsibilities of the Ohio House of Representatives include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes.

Members are limited to four consecutive two-year elected terms (terms are considered consecutive if they are separated by less than two years). Time served by appointment to fill out another representative's uncompleted term does not count against the term limit. There are 99 members in the house, elected from single-member districts. Every even-numbered year, all the seats are up for re-election.

Currently Democratic Representatives are out voted by Republicans Representatives.


Ohio Senate

District 5 & 6

The Ohio State Senate is the upper chamber of the Ohio General Assembly. Alongside the Ohio House of Representatives, it forms the legislative branch of the Ohio state government and works alongside the governor of Ohio to create laws and establish a state budget. Legislative authority and responsibilities of the Ohio State Senate include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes.

Senators are elected for four year terms, staggered every two years such that half of the seats are contested at each election. Even numbered seats and odd numbered seats are contested in separate election years. 

Currently Democratic Senators are out voted by Republicans Senators.


Ohio Treasurer 

The Ohio Treasurer is an elected executive position in the Ohio state government. As the chief financial officer of the state, the treasurer manages the state's money and acts as the state's banker.

The treasurer is the chief financial officer of the state and serves as the state's banker. The most important duty of the treasury is to safeguard the taxpayer's money in Ohio. The office is responsible, among other things, for:

  • managing more than $160 billion in financial assets

  • investing the state's money and manage an investment portfolio that exceeds $15 billion

  • tracking and maintaining a database of all unclaimed property in Ohio

  • providing financial advice to state agencies

  • providing financial education and resources

The treasurer is limited to two successive terms of four years. An individual may seek another term in office after a period of four or more years has elapsed.

To serve as the Ohio Treasurer, a person must:

  • be a resident of Ohio

  • a qualified elector

  • at least 18 years old

Ohio Secretary of State

The secretary is the state's chief election officer and keeper of the state seal. The Secretary of state is responsible for overseeing elections in the state; registering business entities (corporations, etc.) and granting them the authority to do business within the state; registering secured transactions; and granting access to public documents.

The duties of the secretary of state in Ohio center on the office's three divisions: elections, business services, and records management. Accordingly, the Secretary of State:

  • serves as the state's chief election officer

  • certifies, publishes, and maintains a record of all official election results

  • appoints members to the board of elections

  • registers and keeps a current record of all corporations, partnerships, and limited liability partnerships

  • issues licenses for and maintains a registry of all notaries public

  • issues licenses for and maintains a registry of all ministers

  • maintains an official record of all government actions

  • helps provide public access to Ohio state government records

To serve as the Ohio Secretary of State, a person must:

  • be a resident of Ohio

  • a qualified elector

  • at least 18 years old

Ohio Attorney General

The attorney general provides legal representation and advice to all state government departments, agencies and commissions, provides legal opinions at the request of other public officials, and handles all criminal appeals from state trial courts. The attorney general is elected every four years in midterm elections and is limited to two consecutive terms in office.

The attorney general has three primary duties:

  • responsible for legal business of Ohio state government and its departments, boards and agencies and for the collection of debts owed to the state

  • enforcement authority in consumer protection, charitable solicitation, antitrust actions and organized crime

  • coordinate with local law enforcement agencies at their request and provide criminal justice support services

To serve as the Ohio Attorney General, a person must:

  • resident of Ohio

  • a qualified elector

  • at least 18 years old

Ohio Auditor

The auditor ensures that the state and its more than 5,600 entities are using resources efficiently and effectively. The office conducts both fiscal and performance audits of all public offices in Ohio as well as cities and counties. The auditor is publicly elected every four years, and may serve a total of two terms.

The auditor of state serves as a watchdog, ensuring the state and its more than 5,600 entities are using resources efficiently and effectively. The office conducts both fiscal and performance audits of:

  • all public offices in Ohio

  • cities

  • counties

  • village

  • townships

  • schools

  • state universities

  • public libraries

  • state agencies, boards, and commissions

To serve as the Ohio Auditor, a person must:

  • be a resident of Ohio

  • a qualified elector

  • at least 18 years old

Ohio Governor & Lt. Governor

The Lieutenant Governor of Ohio is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch and the first officer in line to succeed the Governor of Ohio

The lieutenant governor's primary responsibility is to complete the duties assigned to him by the governor. The lieutenant governor becomes governor if the governor resigns, dies in office or is removed by impeachment.

To serve as the Lieutenant Governor, a person must:

  • be a resident of Ohio

  • a qualified elector

  • at least 18 years old

The governor is the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws; the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Ohio State Legislature; the power to convene the legislature; and the power to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Executing all laws and requiring written information on any office from the head of that office 

  • Making an annual address to the General Assembly, with recommendation for legislation 

  • Convening extraordinary sessions of the legislature with limited purposes 

  • Adjourning the legislature when the two chambers cannot agree to do so themselves, not to include the privilege of adjourning the legislature past the sine die set for the regular session 

  • Keeping and using "The Great Seal of the State of Ohio" 

  • Signing and sealing all commissions granted in the name of the state of Ohio 

  • Nominating, in the event of a vacancy in the Lieutenant Governor's office, a new officer, subject to a confirmatory vote of both chambers of the legislature 

  • Making vacancy appointments for all "key state officers" (the Auditor, the Treasurer, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General). Such appointments are for the remainder of the term when the next general election is less than 40 days away and until the next general election otherwise 

  • Accepting a report from the head of each executive department at least once a year, not later than five days before the regular session of the legislature convenes, and including the substance of those reports in his or her annual address to the legislature 

  • Making all appointments not otherwise provided for, with the advice and consent of the Senate, unless the Senate refuses to act, in which case the Governor's appointee takes offices by default 

To serve as the Governor, a person must:

  • be a resident of Ohio

  • a qualified elector

  • at least 18 years old



The Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to enact legislation and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments, and substantial investigative powers.

1. What are the qualifications to run for office in the House of Representatives and Senate?
The required qualifications are found in Article 1 of the Constitution:


House of Representatives

  • 25 years of age

  • A citizen of the United States for at least 7 years

  • At the time of election, be a resident of the state


U.S. Senate

  • 30 years of age

  • A citizen of the United States for 9 years

  • At the time of election, be a resident of the state


2. How many members of Congress are there?
There are a total of 535 Members of Congress. 100 serve in the U.S. Senate and 435 serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

3. How long do members of Congress’ terms last?
Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms and are considered for reelection every even year. Senators however, serve six-year terms and elections to the Senate are staggered over even years so that only about 1/3 of the Senate is up for reelection during any election.

4. How many members of Congress come from each state?
Each state sends two Senators to represent their state in the U.S. Senate. However, in the House of Representatives, a state’s representation is based on its population.  For example, smaller states like Vermont and Delaware have one representative while large states like California have 53 representatives.

5. How do the House and Senate chambers differ?
In the House of Representatives, the majority party holds significant power to draft chamber rules and schedule bills to reach the floor for debate and voting. In most cases, House rules will limit debate so that important legislation can be passed during one legislative business day.

In the Senate however, the majority has the power to schedule when various bills come to the floor for voting but a single Senator can slow legislation from coming to the floor for a vote. Since debate in the Senate is not concluded until 60 senators vote for a cloture motion to approve a bill for consideration, the majority must also coordinate with the minority part to set the rules for debate on legislation. Under this system, legislation can be debated for one or two weeks on the Senate floor alone. 

6. Why does Congress use the committee system?
Congress deals with a broad variety of different policy issues and it is more efficient to have work done at the committee level than on the House or Senate floor. In addition, this system allows members to gain expertise in specific issue areas they are interested in. Throughout history, committees have been created to address particular issues before Congress. The House has 23 committees while the Senate has a total of 20 committees.

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The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the land and the only part of the federal judiciary specifically required by the Constitution.

The Constitution does not stipulate the number of Supreme Court Justices; the number is set instead by Congress. There have been as few as six, but since 1869 there have been nine Justices, including one Chief Justice. All Justices are nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and hold their offices under life tenure. Since Justices do not have to run or campaign for re-election, they are thought to be insulated from political pressure when deciding cases. Justices may remain in office until they resign, pass away, or are impeached and convicted by Congress.

The Court’s caseload is almost entirely appellate in nature, and the Court’s decisions cannot be appealed to any authority, as it is the final judicial arbiter in the United States on matters of federal law. However, the Court may consider appeals from the highest state courts or from federal appellate courts. The Court also has original jurisdiction over limited types of cases, including those involving ambassadors and other diplomats, and in cases between states.

Although the Supreme Court may hear an appeal on any question of law provided it has jurisdiction, it usually does not hold trials. Instead, the Court’s task is to interpret the meaning of a law, to decide whether a law is relevant to a particular set of facts, or to rule on how a law should be applied. Lower courts are obligated to follow the precedent set by the Supreme Court when rendering decisions.

In almost all instances, the Supreme Court does not hear appeals as a matter of right; instead, parties must petition the Court for a writ of certiorari. It is the Court’s custom and practice to “grant cert” if four of the nine Justices decide that they should hear the case. Of the approximately 7,500 requests for certiorari filed each year, the Court usually grants cert to fewer than 150. These are typically cases that the Court considers sufficiently important to require their review; a common example is the occasion when two or more of the federal courts of appeals have ruled differently on the same question of federal law.

If the Court grants certiorari, Justices accept legal briefs from the parties to the case, as well as from amicus curiae, or “friends of the court.” These can include industry trade groups, academics, or even the U.S. government itself. Before issuing a ruling, the Supreme Court usually hears oral arguments, where the various parties to the suit present their arguments and the Justices ask them questions. If the case involves the federal government, the Solicitor General of the United States presents arguments on behalf of the United States. The Justices then hold private conferences, make their decision, and (often after a period of several months) issue the Court’s opinion, along with any dissenting arguments that may have been written.



The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end, appoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet. The Vice President is also part of the Executive Branch, ready to assume the Presidency should the need arise.

The President is both the head of state and head of government of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

Fifteen executive departments — each led by an appointed member of the President’s Cabinet — carry out the day-to-day administration of the federal government. 

The President also appoints the heads of more than 50 independent federal commissions, such as the Federal Reserve Board or the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as federal judges, ambassadors, and other federal offices. 

The President has the power either to sign legislation into law or to veto bills enacted by Congress, although Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses. The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which the Senate ratifies. The President can issue executive orders, which direct executive officers or clarify and further existing laws. The President also has the power to extend pardons and clemencies for federal crimes.

The Constitution lists only three qualifications for the Presidency — the President must be at least 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen, and must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. And though millions of Americans vote in a presidential election every four years, the President is not, in fact, directly elected by the people. Instead, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every fourth year, the people elect the members of the Electoral College. Apportioned by population to the 50 states — one for each member of their congressional delegation (with the District of Columbia receiving 3 votes) — these Electors then cast the votes for President. There are currently 538 electors in the Electoral College.

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