New Settlement Allows Inactive Voters In Ohio To Vote

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Under this agreement between the ACLU of Ohio and Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office, those voters who have recently been removed from the rolls will be able to vote after all.

The Legal Director for the ACLU of Ohio, Freda Levenson, says voters who cast a provisional ballot in any of these elections will also be restored to the voter rolls so they will be able to vote in future elections. Voters removed through the Secretary of State’s “supplemental process” can cast a provisional ballot in any local, state, special or federal election through 2022 and have it counted.

That process removes voters after six years of inactivity. Two years of not voting triggers a mailing from elections officials. If a voter doesn’t confirm their voter registration address and also does not vote, that voter is removed.

Levenson says this settlement is a big win for voters who have been removed from the polls because they hadn’t voted or responded to requests for updated voter information.

Levenson says this settles a lawsuit filed in 2016. One part asserted the supplemental process violates the National Voting Rights Amendment because it targets voters for removal based on their failure to vote. That was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. Today’s settlement deals with another part, which argued voters targeted for removal under this process had not been provided proper notice that their status as registered voters was in jeopardy, and therefore not legal.

Today’s settlement also requires the Secretary of State to send eligible voters who are not registered a mailing to give them the deadline for registering for the November 2019 General Election. It tells local boards of elections to use motor vehicle records to make sure people who are at risk for being removed from the rolls remain eligible to vote. And the Secretary of State must provide reports on provisional ballots after elections.

This is a breaking story. More information will be added as it becomes available.