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Secretary of State Husted Enters New Partnership to Improve Accuracy of the Statewide Voter Database & Prevent Fraud

COLUMBUS – In an ongoing effort to maintain more accurate voter rolls, thus reducing potential voter fraud, Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced a new partnership with the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) to obtain out-of-state death records. This partnership will enable the Secretary of State’s office to more effectively maintain and update the Ohio’s voter database through the sharing of important information with the 88 boards of elections.

“Working to make sure Ohio’s voter rolls contain accurate and current information not only improves the administration of our elections, but also ensures the integrity of our system and helps to guard against the potential for voter fraud,” Secretary Husted said.

The Secretary of State’s office will receive information from NAPHSIS’s State and Territorial Exchange of Vital Events, or STEVE. STEVE is a multi-state initiative in which death records are shared among participating states. Ohio will get death records from STEVE, which may include data from Ohio residents who pass away in other states - something Ohio does not currently have access to as death records from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) only consist of those who died in Ohio. Currently, more than 20 states are participating in this information sharing network with roughly another 20 states preparing to join. NAPHSIS believes they will have all 50 states participating in the near future.

Beginning May 15th, the Secretary of State’s office began receiving death records on a monthly basis through STEVE. Those records are shared with boards of elections in order to update their voter files, which combined, make up the statewide voter database.

“As our society has become increasingly mobile, being able to share and receive important information such as death records with other states through the network established by NAPHSIS will greatly assist in our efforts to maintain the voter rolls,” Secretary Husted said.

Since taking office, Secretary Husted has made it a priority to proactively work with the county boards to keep voter rolls up to date and as a result, more than 19,000 deceased voters have been removed from Ohio’s voter rolls. The Secretary of State’s office has also pushed boards to conduct regular list maintenance and eliminate duplicative voter records.

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