The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld Ohio’s law that allows for the removal of individuals from the voter registration rolls who have not voted for six years and who fail to respond to a mail notification confirming their address has not changed. This law has been used in Ohio by both Democratic and Republican secretaries of state since its enactment in 1993. It is similar to a procedure I followed as Kentucky’s secretary of state that was developed by my Democratic predecessor. However, at the core of this issue is the administrative struggle our nation’s election officials have faced for the last several years: keeping pace with a mobile American society. When we move, we rarely inform our local election officials, leaving millions of out-of-date voter records on file across the nation. Having accurate and secure voter registration rolls is essential to providing a smooth voting process, and it was a priority of mine while in office. Ohio now has an opportunity to further enhance its verification of voter rolls.
Fortunately, election officials from across the country have a nonpartisan, technology-based solution that cleans our voting lists in a safe and secure manner, while also protecting the right of all eligible voters to show up and have their voices heard on Election Day. That solution is Automated Voter Registration Verification – often called AVR – an easy, common-sense reform that takes the bureaucracy out of voter roll management.
How does Automated Voter Registration Verification work? While it varies slightly from state to state, the general principles are the same.