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Government & Politics

Secretary of State Moves Forward with Purge of Ohio Voter Rolls

A 'voting today' sign outside of an Ohio polling station
A 'voting today' sign is seen outside of an Ohio polling station

Friday is the day that tens, and maybe hundreds of thousands of dead voters and duplicate registrations will be removed from the voter rolls in Ohio. But voting rights groups say they’re still worried eligible voters will be purged by mistake. 

The process removes registrations of people who, for the past six years, haven’t voted and haven’t responded to board of elections mailings. But Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper says there are eligible voters who’ve been mistakenly identified as inactive.

“Not one voter should be kicked off the rolls when they actually did everything they were supposed to do and somehow government somewhere made the mistake.”

The ODP sued to stop what it calls the purge, but lost in court. Secretary of State Frank LaRose says his obligation to maintain the voting rolls is very clear.

“It's not up to me whether I choose to do this or not. It's required.”

LaRose’s office says fewer than 235,000 registrations will be deleted, and promised to have a final number later.