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Volunteers Make Phone Calls to Register Voters in 'Fight the Purge' Event

photo of Barbara Kaplan, Jamie Bullock
Barbara Kaplan (right) and Jamie Bullock made calls to voters as part of the Ohio Democratic Party's 'Fight the Purge' event.

Ohio’s voter purging policy had Democrats working the phones over the weekend.  The directive to clear out registrations deemed dormant prompted a lawsuit against then-Secretary of State Jon Husted which went to the U.S. Supreme Court last year.  

The Ohio Democratic Party held a “Fight the Purge” event over the weekend to contact people who have been removed from the state’s voter rolls.

The state Democrats said the goal of the event was to call people who may not even realize they’re no longer eligible to vote, and encourage them to re-register.

In downtown Cuyahoga Falls, more than a dozen people worked from a list of about 2,000 voters at an event hosted by Crooked River Action. Organizer Barbara Kaplan said she’s finding that many of those purged are simply transient voters.

“It may be poverty that they move a lot. It could be that they’re young voters so they’re in college -- or out of college -- and have relocated. Elderly people may move in with their children [or] may move into a retirement community.”

Republican Frank LaRose, who became Secretary of State in January, said he’s working with lawmakers on ways to update voters’ addresses any time they do business with the state, such as renewing vehicle registrations.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.