Ohio Counties Purge Voter Rolls

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More than 2,000 voters have been removed from the voter rolls in Athens County as of Friday Sept. 13. In 2015, the Athens County Board of elections sent the first warning about the voting purge to a total of 2,366 people. 105 of those 2,366 people decided to take action and renew their registrations before the scheduled purge.

Across Ohio’s 88 counties, thousands of residents received this warning in 2015 if they have failed to report a change in address to the U.S. Postal Service or if the voter has not cast a ballot in over four years.

Ohio’s boards of elections sent these notices four years prior to the purge to urge residents to take action and ensure as many residents as possible will exercise their right to vote. Nearly 87 percent of the people who received these notices took action before 2019 to avoid being added to the purge list.

Last-chance notices were sent to the other 13 percent of residents in July 2019 as a reminder that they have until Sept. 6 to renew their registrations to vote in the upcoming election. Despite the many reminders, Kate Schaftel, an Athens County resident believes that voters busy schedules make it a challenge to re-register.

“They get busy and they get overwhelmed,” said Schaftel. “It’s a loss to our community not to have their additional votes.”

Political activists in Athens County work to ensure that as many residents as possible vote in each election. Debbie Quivey has been working at the Athens County Board of Elections for 27 years and now serves as the director. She says they give plenty of time and notices about the voting purge and hopes that serious voters will remain registered.

“Please, if nothing else just vote for your president every four years,” said Quivey. “That keeps you active.”

Quivey also urges Athens residents to vote in each election whether it is federal or local. Athens County elections consist of many important issues that can affect the community.

The deadline to register for the Nov. 5 election is Oct. 7. New voters as well as voters whose registrations were cancelled in Friday’s purge can do this by going to the Athens County Board of Elections office located on Court Street or by visiting their website to register online. The Board of Elections office is open Monday through Friday 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.