Ohio Secretary of State responds after 1.2 million voters purged

CREDIT: Cropped Photo: Jay Baker / CC BY 2.0

It’s been a tough week for Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.

First, a federal court ruled that Ohio’s purging of 1.2 million voters violates federal law.

Now State Representative Kathleen Clyde is calling on Husted to restore those voters their right to vote.

Husted says the vast majority of the purged voters have either died or moved and that he’s simply following the same guidelines that have been in place for 20 years.

“What I do is not something that’s my opinion or a policy. I follow the law. That’s what the law prescribes. And that’s why I do it,” Husted said.

The voters who were purged haven’t cast a ballot in six years.

“If you’re going to maintain the integrity of elections you can’t maintain polluted voter rolls,” Husted said.

Ohio Organizing Collaborative’s Michael McGovern says the purging typically unfairly targets minorities.

“I think the studies and the research so far on the purge have shown that it overwhelmingly impacts low income and people of color, the very people that often find it the hardest to vote,” McGovern said.

McGovern reminds voters they have until October 11 to register to vote.

How to register to vote in Ohio

Registration requirements

  • Be a US citizen
  • Live at an Ohio address by Oct 9
  • Be 18 years old by Election Day, Nov 8
  • Not be in jail for a felony
  • Not currently be judged incompetent by a court
  • Not be permanently disqualified for violating an election law

By Mail

1. Download and print registration form or call 1-877-767-6446.

2. Fill out the form

3. Send the form to the Secretary of State, postmarked by October 11:

Secretary of State of Ohio

Elections Division

180 E. Broad Street – 15th Floor

Columbus, OH 43215

In Person

1. Pick up the registration form at your county board of elections, any BMV office, any county treasurer's office or any public library.

2. Fill out the form

3. Send the form in by mail or return in person county board of elections, any BMV office, any county treasurer’s office, or any public library by October 11.

Check if you're registered to vote