Following Discovery of 137 ‘Non-Citizens’ Registered to Vote Ohio Orders Removal of Ineligible Voters From State Voter Rolls

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has directed an intensified initiative to cleanse the voter rolls of Ohio, targeting ineligible voters. This decision follows an investigation by his office, which revealed 137 voter registrations linked to individuals who aren’t allowed to vote in U.S. elections.

On May 14, Mr. LaRose issued a directive instructing Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections to initiate a confirmation and removal procedure for ineligible individuals from the state’s voter registration rolls.

“Ohioans overwhelmingly passed an amendment to our state constitution which makes it clear that only U.S. citizens can vote in our elections,” LaRose said in a statement.

“It is my duty under the law to uphold the constitution, and the legislature has explicitly tasked me with ensuring that only eligible citizens can register and vote,” he added.

The secretary of state also revealed that his office will take further measures to conduct an annual review of the statewide voter registration database, aiming to identify individuals who do not seem to be U.S. citizens.

As part of the intensified voter roll verification process, Ohio has requested the Biden administration to grant access to various sources of citizenship data. This includes the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ SAVE database, along with information from the Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration, and federal district court records.

Mr. LaRose’s office stated that Ohio’s upgraded voter roll purge follows a review conducted by the Secretary of State’s Public Integrity Division and Office of Data Analytics and Archives.

This review, based on records from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), revealed 137 voter registrations linked to Ohio residents who twice indicated to the BMV that they were not U.S. citizens.

According to Ohio law, to be taken off the voter rolls, an individual needs to affirm their non-citizenship status to the BMV on two separate occasions. Additionally, they must have either registered to vote, updated their voter registration, or cast a vote in Ohio between the two times they provided the necessary documentation to the BMV.

“It’s important to recognize that some of these registrations may be the result of an honest mistake,” Mr. LaRose said in a statement.

“These may be well-meaning people trying to pursue the American dream, and communication barriers sometimes result in a registration form being submitted in error,” he added.

“We need to help them get that cleared up before an accidental registration becomes an illegal vote that could result in a felony conviction or even deportation,” LaRose said.

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Given the possibility of more ineligible voters in Ohio beyond those discovered in the initial investigation, LaRose’s office is advancing the enhanced voter roll verification process. This entails cross-referencing BMV data with other databases, including federal ones.

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By Hunter Fielding
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