Ohio House Democrats and some liberal advocacy groups want to put an end to the state’s purging of people from voter-registration rolls just because they move within the state or have not voted for a few years. But Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office says Ohio is following federal law when it clears inactive voters off the rolls. Rep. Kathleen Clyde, D-Kent, says Ohio is too aggressive in purging people from the voter rolls. It has removed 2 million names over the past five years. Husted’s office said that total includes more than 400,000 deceased voters.
Clyde offers a bill that would allow voters to be purged from the rolls only if they are confirmed to have moved out of state. It would not affect efforts to removed deceased voters from the rolls. “It’s no consolation to be told voting is easy if you’re one of the 700 people in Cuyahoga County whose ballot was not counted because you were purged from the rolls,” Clyde said. “I think this is a deliberate attempt to make voting harder in Ohio.”
Under the current process, if a person did not vote in 2009 and 2010, the county board of elections sent the person a notice in 2011. If the person took no action to verify his or her status and did not vote in any election through 2014, the county board was told to remove the person from the voting rolls in 2015.