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Government & Politics

Secretary of State Stands By Effort to Reach Inactive Voters

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KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Voters can begin casting early ballots for the May primary as of Tuesday, April 9.

Early voting for the May primary has begun. Turnout in off-year primaries is especially low, but there may be those who try to vote and find they’ve been removed from the rolls – which critics call “purging”.

In February, Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office sent 270,000 registration forms to voters told by county boards of elections they’d been removed for not updating their addresses and not voting in the last six years. LaRose said then it would cost up to $75,000, though voters can register and update registrations online for free. He believes in the outreach.

“If that mailing results in just one or two more Ohioans being registered to vote then I think it’s worth it, but I think the numbers are going to be more than that.”

LaRose said he does not have any numbers on how many forms were returned as undeliverable, but says the vast majority likely went to duplicate addresses or those of people who have died or moved out of state.