Ohio to Purge Voter Roll

A September 4 ruling by a federal judge blocked the Ohio Democratic Party’s attempt to stop 235,000 names from being removed from the Ohio voter roll.

U.S. District Court Judge James Graham said the Ohio Democratic Party did not provide enough evidence to support its claims there are thousands of eligible voters on the purge list, and gave the Secretary of State’s office the go-ahead to proceed.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office removed 265,000 voters from the registered voter rolls earlier this year, and following the September purge, another 235,000 came off the books, resulting in about 500,000 voters removed from the list this year.

The Ohio Democratic Party initiated a lawsuit to invoke a temporary restraining order on the voter purge after The Columbus Dispatch reported a vendor who works with county boards of elections mistakenly flagged more than 1,600 people for purging from the rolls of eligible voters.

Some of the instances listed within the ruling include an Aug. 5 article in The Columbus Dispatch, which reported 1,100 voters in Franklin County were incorrectly sent last chance notices.

On Aug. 15, the Ohio League of Women Voters identified roughly 4,000 voters on the list, who according to the Secretary of State’s website, listed them as active voters, but were on the purge list.

The League also reported it had found another 17,500 voters on the list who had voted as recently as November 2018.

“This evidence does not establish that the Secretary is implementing measures which render the voting system fundamentally unfair,” Graham wrote. “The occurrence of a past problem with the List does not prove the existence of a current one. More importantly, the Secretary has shown in both instances that he restored those registrants who were eligible to vote to the Voter File. In other words, the Secretary has acted to ensure eligible voters are not removed from the File when he has discovered errors on the List.”

All Ohio voters are urged to follow-up with any communications from their Board of Elections in order to ensure they are not purged from the voter roll.

The easiest way to ensure you remain on the roll is vote at least every two years.

Ohioans can visit https://olvr.sos.state.oh.us/NCOA/NCOA to update voter information or register to vote.

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