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Ohio is launching an effort to clean up its voter rolls ahead of the November presidential election

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, directed county election officials Thursday to begin a “routine but expanded” search of voter rolls ahead of the November election, something he said is required by law to remove inactive registrations.

“Every state must have an ongoing process to verify the accuracy of its voter rolls, but Ohio has the most advanced and effective protocols in the country,” LaRose said in announcing the policy. “This work is not only critical to keeping our elections honest, but also important to ensuring our election officials can properly plan for the right number of ballots, voting machines, polling locations and poll workers.”

List maintenance efforts target four specific areas:

    1. Address changes. These are registrations that appear to be inactive due to an address change registered with the U.S. Postal Service that the voter has not confirmed to their local election authority. Listings are flagged for removal after four consecutive years of voter inactivity.

    2. Overdue moves. These are records that were previously marked for removal after the required four-year waiting period and were identified as remaining in the system through a data integrity investigation conducted by LaRose's Office of Data Analytics and Archive.

    3. Returned Confirmations. These are new registrations that the districts acknowledged with an information postcard that was returned as undeliverable. By law, these registrations are placed in “confirmation” status, which results in their cancellation unless eligible voters take action.

    4. BMV discrepancies. These are registrations that do not match certain information provided by a person to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, such as: B. their name, date of birth, social security number or driver's license number. This process can also flag registrations of deceased voters.

All registrations deemed inactive and therefore legally eligible for removal will be listed for public review on a registration readiness list posted for public review on the Ohio Secretary of State's website. This provides individual voters and voting rights groups with a final opportunity to prevent a registration from being deleted.

Anna Harden

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