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Ohio Election Chief Orders Greene County To Reject Non-Citizen Voter Registrations

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, overseeing the Election Night Reporting Center, in Columbus, Ohio, calls for the closing of the polls in the Ohio primary election, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Gene Puskar
/
Associated Press
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, overseeing the Election Night Reporting Center, in Columbus, Ohio, calls for the closing of the polls in the Ohio primary election, Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has ordered the Greene County Board of Elections to reject non-citizen voter registrations in the village of Yellow Springs.

In March, voters in Yellow Springs approved a village charter amendment allowing residents who are not U.S. citizens to vote in local elections. Brian Housh, the village’s council president, says that since Ohio is a “home rule” state, local municipalities like Yellow Springs should be able to do what they want in their elections.

“Republicans always tout that it's about local control," Housh says. "Yet in Ohio, whenever municipalities try to do things like gun control or whatever, the state's taken that away from them. So this is another example of a Republican majority in Ohio taking away the home rule powers."

LaRose says municipalities are only allowed to exercise “home rule powers” if they are not in conflict with the state’s general laws. LaRose says this amendment violates both the United States and the Ohio Constitutions.

Housh says Yellow Springs has not yet figured out what their response will be, but they do not intend to use tax-payer money if they are forced to litigate.