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Secretary Husted Announces Voter-Focused Initiatives to Promote Civic Engagement & Keep the Rolls Updated

COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced a series of initiatives that will continue to maintain the accuracy and integrity of our voter rolls while encouraging greater participation in our elections. These efforts include new notifications for voters about changes to their registration status, utilizing data from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to confirm a voter’s address, and guidance for county boards of elections regarding the state’s supplemental list maintenance process that was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We continue to find innovative new ways to improve the elections process in Ohio that are consistent with our mission to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” said Secretary Husted. “These latest efforts ensure we continue to meet our responsibility under the law to keep the voter rolls up-to-date while also providing voters with additional opportunities to maintain their registration.”

As outlined in Advisory 2018-02, a new feature that will soon be available to voters checking their registration through MyOhioVote.com will inform them if their voter registration is in confirmation status. The notice will explain that this has occurred because the voter’s county board of elections mailed them a confirmation notice that they have not yet responded to in order to confirm or update their information. Voters who receive a confirmation notice after two years of inactivity and fail to respond to that notice or participate in any voter activity (such as voting or updating their voter registration information) for the following four years may have their registration cancelled.

In an effort to limit the number of voters who receive a confirmation notice, Secretary Husted issued Directive 2018-21 outlining a new automatic process to ensure that when an Ohioan renews their driver’s license or state identification card through the BMV – and provides the same address as the one included in their voter registration – it will serve as confirmation of the individual’s address for list maintenance purposes.

To give voters facing cancellation another opportunity to remain on the rolls, Secretary Husted has issued Directive 2018-22, which instructs county boards to mail an additional notice 30 to 45 days prior to cancellation to any voters impacted. The “last chance” mailer is intended to encourage individuals to respond and to remain active voters. Boards of elections will be eligible for reimbursement for costs associated with the printing and mailing of these notices.

To further ensure the accuracy and integrity of the statewide registered voter database, Secretary Husted issued Directives 2018-19 and 2018-20 to provide boards of elections with additional guidance pertaining to the state’s supplemental process.

Under Directive 2018-20, county boards of election must mail confirmation notices to registered voters who have had no voter activity for a period of at least two years. If an individual does not confirm their information or does not have any voter activity for the next four years, their registration may be cancelled.

Additionally, Secretary Husted has already instructed county boards of elections that no cancellations resulting from a previous year’s supplemental process will be conducted prior to the 2018 General Election.

Directive 2018-19 is issued pursuant to court order and informs boards of elections that the interim relief, known as the “APRI exception,” is no longer in effect as a result of the June 11, 2018, U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Ohio and upholding the supplemental list maintenance process that has been in place for nearly a quarter century and administered by both democrat and republican secretaries of state.

Additional Information:
Advisory 2018-02: Online Voter Information Regarding Confirmation Status
Directive 2018-19: “APRI Exception” No Longer in Effect
Directive 2018-20: 2018 General Voter Records Maintenance Program – Supplemental Process
Directive 2018-21: Automatic Confirmation of Address Safeguard
Directive 2018-22: Notice of Cancellation Procedures

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Sam Rossi
Press Secretary
srossi@ohiosecretaryofstate.gov
(614) 466-2729
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