Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) issued the below statement in response to Secretary Husted’s orders to resume his voter purging after the November 2018 election.
“Secretary Husted’s overly-aggressive purging of infrequent voters hurts the integrity of our elections and is a waste of state resources. Although the Supreme Court recently ruled that this process is permissible under federal law, the court did not hold that the process is required or that it is good policy.
“These directives ordering county officials to resume targeting infrequent voters for purging will cost taxpayers over $330,000 in unnecessary mailing expenses. In addition, the timing of the purge mailing is troublesome. Voters in the 12th Congressional District could receive the mailing on the day of the August 7th special election. There also will be a general election less than 100 days later. Many voters get confused by these postcards and how they relate to their eligibility to vote and causing confusion just before an election is not good policy.
“Another provision from the orders is Husted’s elimination of a ballot protection rule that’s been in place since 2016. The rule required ballots cast by voters who were purged but still eligible to vote to be counted. Roughly 7,500 voters had their ballots counted under this rule in 2016 and now Husted is going back to tossing those voters’ ballots. This will exacerbate our already huge problem of throwing out too many voters’ ballots. Ohio is one of the worst states in the country at throwing out votes after eight years of Husted’s desperate pursuit of new reasons to toss ballots.
“This sloppy and costly purge process uses flimsy guesswork to take away people’s fundamental right to vote. The Secretary of State should stop this harmful and discriminatory use-it-or-lose-it voter purge.”