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Ohio Secretary Of State Issues New Rules Intended To Keep Voters Registered

Jay LaPrete
Associated Press

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is taking extra steps to clarify the state's process for clearing voter rolls, outlining some new initiatives aimed at helping voters stay up-to-date.

Jon Husted, a Republican, issued several directives on Monday, following a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that upheld the state's stringent practices for removing inactive voters.

Husted, who is running for lieutenant governor, says no registrations will be canceled before November's election. But state is resuming its process that flags inactive voters for future removal.

Husted directed county election boards to send additional notices to voters, including a “last chance” mailer sent out 30-45 days before their registration is slated to be purged.

The office also issued a directive that activity at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles counts as voter activity under maintenance rules, meaning that renewing your driver’s license or state identification card can count as confirming your voting address.

The Secretary of State website, MyOhioVote, also will be updated to include the confirmation status of a voter's registration.

"We want to ensure that people who are registered to vote have the information necessary to go to the ballot box and exercise that right," said spokesperson Sam Rossi. "What this does is give people more opportunities to remain on the voter rolls even if they are not voting."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Ohio is complying with the National Voter Registration Act by maintaining voter rolls through a process that flags voters after missing two general elections. A voter’s registration can ultimately be canceled after four years if they don’t respond to confirmation notices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Gabe Rosenberg