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Local leaders discuss illegal voter purging, detail Election Day impact on Mahoning Valley voters

October 7, 2016
Democrat Newsroom

State Reps. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), with Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Righetti and City Councilman Mike Ray, today discussed the recent court victory that ruled illegal Secretary of State Jon Husted's purging of tens of thousands of Mahoning Valley voters and the decision's impact on the election. 

In light of this illegal purging, the group also reiterated how important it is for all residents to check their registration status and to get registered by Ohio's Oct. 11 deadline.  

"Secretary Husted has continually and arbitrarily picked winners and losers in his effort to undermine the right to vote," said Rep. Clyde. "Husted's tactics have been ruled illegal – a historic victory for voters. But everyone should check their registration as over 70,000 Mahoning Valley voters were illegally purged." 

On Sept. 14, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Husted acted illegally when he purged voters from the rolls, many for not voting often enough. Over the past five years, Husted has purged more than 2 million Ohio voters. 

"This is very personal to me. Today we spoke near the precinct where I vote, in the ward I represent. I've spent a lot of time at this polling location," said Councilman Ray. "Just because one of my neighbors missed an election, they could have been illegally purged. This is just another way to chip away at our voting rights while we're not looking." 

Among the illegally purged are more than 29,000 voters in Mahoning County, more than 20,000 voters in Trumbull County and more than 13,000 voters in Columbiana County. The group spoke near Youngstown precinct 4F and 4D's polling location. Youngstown 4F and 4D are two among Mahoning Valley's top ten most-purged precincts. 

"Voters won an important case, but it's critical to make sure you're still on the rolls," said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. "With the registration deadline fast approaching, check your status or register in the next four days." 

Ohio voters can check their registration status here. Unregistered Ohioans can download, print and mail a completed registration form to their county Board of Election.