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Secretary of State Husted Improves Process for Voters Updating Address Under Federal Motor Voter Law

COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted today issued Directive 2013-10, providing Ohio’s boards of election with guidance on conducting general maintenance of the state’s voter rolls as required under federal law. To improve the process for voters, Secretary Husted announced that, for the first time, voters receiving a notice to update their voting address as part of this process will be able to do so online.

“Providing Ohioans with more convenient ways to update their voting information will help to ensure the state’s voter rolls are more accurate and current,” Secretary Husted said. “Up-to-date voter rolls save time, money and improve the integrity of the election.”

Under the National Voter Registration Act, passed in 1993, states are required to compare their voter rolls against the National Change of Address (NCOA) database compiled by the U.S. Postal Service every two years. Matches identify voters who may have moved since the records were last compared in 2011, and may need to update their voter registration information. Once a list is compiled, boards of elections will send each voter a confirmation notice to the address on file in the NCOA database.

Historically, voters have only had the option of updating their address by filing out and returning confirmation cards by mail. This year, Secretary Husted is requiring boards of elections to use a new form that includes a web address to allow voters to go online to update their voting address. The ability for voters to update their voting address online is possible following last year’s successful launch of the Online Change of Address system, which is part Secretary Husted’s comprehensive online voter resource tool – MyOhioVote.com.

It is also important to note that voters who have not participated in an election cycle, but also have not moved, will be included in the mailing to confirm that they are still registered. Voters in this category will need to complete the paper form provided and return it by mail to their county board of elections. Former residents who have moved out of the State of Ohio may return the confirmation notice by mail to cancel their Ohio voter registration.

Launched in August 2012, the Online Change of Address system allows Ohio’s registered voters to update their voting address online. In order to update an address online, individuals must already be registered to vote and provide four identification security keys that exactly match what’s in Ohio’s Statewide Voter Registration Database, including: their last name, Ohio driver’s license number, the last four digits of their Social Security number and their date of birth. The Online Change of Address tool, coupled with improved data sharing with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, has enabled the secretary of state’s office to update approximately 300,000 voter addresses to date.

After completing the online process, the voter’s county board of elections will send out a notice providing the voter with their new polling place and precinct information for future elections.

To avoid being required to cast a provisional ballot due to having an outdated address on file, voters are reminded that all updates to their registration information must be completed no later than 30 days prior to Election Day.

Additional Information
Directive 2013-10

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