How to see if your voter registration was removed
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio canceled nearly 27,000 voter registrations in September in a move that the secretary of state said is needed to maintain secure and accurate voter rolls. But the timing and manner in which the state’s chief elections official removed the registrations has Democrats and some voting advocates concerned.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the voters were notified multiple times, including in March 2023, that they needed to respond to notices that their registrations needed to be updated.
LaRose reiterated on social media Tuesday that he’s legally required to update voter rolls during non-federal election years.
“We removed registrations that have (1) moved or died, (2) haven’t voted at their registered address in FOUR YEARS and (3) haven’t responded to multiple rounds of warnings that they’re eligible for removal. They meet ALL three of those criteria.”
Those voters can register again at any time, but it’s already too late to register to vote in the Nov. 7 election when Ohioans will decide the future of abortion rights and recreational marijuana.
Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Westlake) called on LaRose to reverse the move until after the November election. She said there wasn’t enough of a public awareness campaign to notify people that a purge was about to happen.
“(LaRose) used to have big press conferences. He used to call on nonpartisan groups like the League of Women Voters to go out and engage with these people,” she said. “We’ve found when they did that, we were re-registering individuals.”
Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) said she’s concerned that one criteria used to cancel registrations was whether someone voted in the last four years.
“Every Ohioan registered with the terms of being able to vote whenever they want to in the state of Ohio,” Brent said. “Not that you have to vote so many times to continue to be a registered voter.”
Lucas County is among three counties exempt from the most recent purge because it hosted special elections in September.
Hundreds of voters in northwest Ohio were included in the cancellation, including 444 in Wood County, 262 in Hancock County, 108 in Williams County, and 99 in Fulton County, according to the Secretary of State’s database.
You can search here to see if your name is on the list of registrations recently removed.
Democratic lawmakers said anyone who thinks they were improperly removed should call their county’s board of elections office, show up to vote anyway, and cast a provisional ballot.
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