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Ohio Election Officials Push Voter Roll Maintenance Past November Election

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose marks National Registration Day at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019.
Julie Carr Smyth
/
Associated Press
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose marks National Registration Day at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019.

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office is going forward with legally-mandated voter list maintenance—the so-called "purge" of inactive voters from the rolls. But no names will be removed prior to November’s election.

Ohio voters who could see their registration invalidated will have until December 7 to verify they want to remain on the rolls.

Officials in Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office say that date was intentional. Pushing the deadline past November’s election means no voters will lose their eligibility ahead of time.

And since casting a ballot ensures voters don’t get their registrations removed, LaRose’s team is crossing their fingers that list maintenance might serve as a roundabout get-out-the-vote effort.

State officials project an initial list of about 120,000 inactive voter registrations set to be eliminated, but that could go down if voters either cast ballots or verify their registration. There are a number of ways voters can stay on the rolls besides simply voting in the upcoming election:

  • Request an absentee ballot application;
  • Update or confirm their address with their county board of elections;
  • Update their registration with the county board of elections;
  • Respond to the forthcoming mailing about their registration’s pending cancellation;
  • Or respond to the 2016 confirmation notices from the county board of elections.

LaRose’s office will receive the lists of voters on the bubble from county boards of elections on August 21, and they will post the names online in a searchable database as soon as possible.