A project to reach out to 270,000 Ohioans deleted from the voting rolls only managed to bring in a few hundred of them, while costing a lot more than expected.
In February, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said his office would send registration forms to thousands of voters removed from the rolls after six years of not voting and not responding to mailings from county boards of elections.
This week, the Secretary of State’s Office reported receiving 540 registration forms and spending more than $130,000.
That’s almost twice as much as LaRose’s initial estimate. He initially said the effort would cost as much as $75,000.
"What my office is trying to do is just create one more opportunity to register if they have been removed through that supplemental process," LaRose said in February.
LaRose said he still believes the outreach is important, though.
“If that mailing results in just one or two more Ohioans being registered to vote then I think it’s worth it, but I think the numbers are going to be more than that,” LaRose said earlier this week.
With all costs considered, the state spent about $242 for each voter that responded.
Voting rights activists have long called for Ohio to end its practice of "voter purges," which were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court as constitutional last year.