A group is suing Ohio’s Secretary of State, asking the court to order Jon Husted to purge voter rolls in the buckeye state.
The group Judicial Watch says there are dead people and people who’ve moved on the current voter rolls. Husted does not want to purge the voter rolls the way this group wants him to but in an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, Husted explains he is taking steps to reduce the number of people on the rolls with incorrect addresses.
Husted - We had always planned to do this. It’s part of our effort to make sure the voter rolls are accurate….both from the standpoint of insuring the integrity of the elections but also at the same time, you can reduce the cost of administering the elections when you only have actual registered voters on the rolls versus people who were registered but have since left the state and are no longer eligible to vote in ours. Ingles – So how are you doing this?
Husted – Well everybody that we have identified from the post office as having moved out of state or moved within the state will receive a postcard asking them to either cancel their registration if they’ve moved out of state or to update their address if they’ve moved within the state. And by doing that, we can eliminate hundreds of thousands of duplicate or expired registrations from the rolls which will make sure the integrity of the process is more secure so we don’t have people casting a ballot on behalf of those people either intentionally or accidentally. And at the same time, we can reduce the costs because no longer local boards of elections have to send them mailings letting them know where their polling locations are.
Ingles – I was going to ask about costs….if you are sending them something saying “hey you need to take action here”, that costs something. But you are saying in the long run, it actually saves money?
Husted – It saves money for the local boards of elections because you might be mailing out numerous pieces of information to these voters over the course of time and when we can remove them from the rolls, that has the potential of saving costs at the local level.
Ingles – And I had talked to you before about purging the rolls, your big concern was that people who are maybe legitimate voters could be accidentally purged from the rolls the way the group that brought the lawsuit wants to do it. The way you are suggesting now, do you think that would keep legitimate voters on the rolls?
Husted – The difference is automatically doing it like we’ve been asked to do, we are giving the voter the opportunity to remove themselves or update their address. That way we don’t run the risk of removing someone who is legitimately registered and thus denying them the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election. This is the best of both worlds. We are reducing the number of people who are on the rolls who shouldn’t be there but at the same time avoid any potential of an accidental removal from an eligible voter.
Ingles – How many of these cards are you sending out and how many people do you think could be removed from the rolls this way?
Husted – Well we know that there are at least 70,000 voters we’ve identified that we have evidence that they no longer live in Ohio. And we have several hundred thousand voters who we believe have moved within Ohio. So we will be sending these out and we (….hope to get a good response. 3:14)
Husted says voters are already updating their voting status. He says more than 25 thousand Ohioans have updated their voting information online for this upcoming election. Husted says the more accurate the voter rolls, the less likely it will be that voters will have to cast provisional ballots.