Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says it’s up to the courts whether the state can enforce its deadline to clean up the voter rolls.
The Ohio Democrat Party last week sued to stop the purge from happening as scheduled on September 6, citing concerns that there are voters on the list who want to remain active. Voting rights activists said that 4,000 voters were wrongly included.
LaRose says that with 88 counties each using different voting processes, some errors are inevitable. But he says his office has been transparent about the process and worked to correct mistakes.
“I’m confident that when we get to next Friday, September 6, that we’ll have that accurate list so that we can carry out the process that the law requires me to carry out,” LaRose says.
LaRose put out a list six weeks ago and asked community groups to reach out to the people on it, so those they could reactivate their voter registrations. He says that effort yielded more than 11,000 responses.
“They’ve responded to the mailings, they’ve responded to the knock on the door or the phone call they’ve gotten from some of these community groups, and we’re going to keep those folks on the list of registered voters in the state of Ohio so they can participate hopefully this November and onto next year,” LaRose says.
The Secretary of State’s Office originally identified more than 235,000 voters on what it called the “registration reset list.”
Even if the sweep is allowed to move forward, a recent agreement between the ACLU of Ohio and the Secretary of State’s Office will allow purged voters to cast provisional ballots through 2022. Those who participate will then have their registrations restored.