Voter security: Ohio Secretary of State seeks to update voter registration process

Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN)—Secretary of State Frank LaRose is taking steps to boost voter accuracy and election security.

According to a release, Secretary LaRose has made a proposal to modernize and automate the voting system. Until this proposal is actualized, LaRose says Ohio must still take the necessary steps prescribed under current law to remove abandoned registrations and strengthen the security of the system.

On September 1, Secretary LaRose directed all 88 of Ohio’s county boards of elections to begin a four-year process to identify any registrations that have been inactive for at least two years and registrations that appear on the National Change of Address database.

According to the release, any registration that has been inactive for over two years will be sent a confirmation notice stating that voter activity must take place at some point over the next four years in order to remain active.

Voter-initiated activity includes any one of the following:

  • Voting in any election over the next four years
  • Submitting an absentee ballot application
  • Registering to vote, online or in-person
  • Updating or confirming an address with a board of elections (including returning the confirmation notice)
  • Updating or confirming an address with the BMV
  • Signing a candidate or issue petition that is verified by a board of elections

The release says that registrations that do not engage in any such voter activity will be at risk of cancellation beginning in 2026.

“Ohio has been setting records for voter turnout because Ohioans know that our elections are both convenient and secure. That success requires an elections system with integrity,” LaRose said. “Abandoned registrations clog that system up, making it more difficult for election officials to do their jobs and putting the security of our elections at risk.”

LaRose continues, “While we’ve made great strides in carrying out the process required under Ohio law, we can do so much better if we modernize our voter list maintenance and registration procedures. There is legislation already introduced in the General Assembly that gets that done, and I’m hopeful we can make this vital modernization a reality.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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