Text Campaign Aims to Prevent Ohio Voters From Being Purged

All Voting is Local urges more than 100,000 Ohioans to update voter registration before Friday deadline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2019

COLUMBUS–All Voting is Local today will text alert 103,000 Ohioans to update their voter registrations to avoid being purged from the state’s voting lists later this week. On Friday, Secretary of State Frank LaRose plans to purge 235,000 voters’ registrations — despite urging from advocates to hold off because of errors in multiple counties that have led to eligible voters wrongly placed on the purge list.

“The state’s purge system is deeply flawed and voters remain at risk of wrongfully being removed from the rolls,” said Mike Brickner, Ohio State Director for All Voting is Local. “The purge process is supposed to find ineligible voters, such as those who have died or moved out of state. However, according to Secretary of State LaRose himself, thousands of voters at risk of being purged have already alerted the state that they are still very much alive and wish to vote in Ohio. This shows how deeply broken the purge process is and the need for voter registration modernization now.”

Brickner added, “Contacting voters simply by U.S. Mail is insufficient and outdated. Election officials must find new and innovative ways to contact voters. We want to empower voters to be vigilant about their voter registrations to ensure their voices are heard.”

All Voting is Local and statewide voting rights groups have urged LaRose to stop the purge to ensure the accuracy of lists and give advocates time to notify voters to check their registrations.

In Ohio, citizens who go six years without voting and fail to respond to address confirmation letters could be removed from the registration rolls. In early 2019, Ohio removed 265,000 voters from the rolls. If the state moves forward on September 6, nearly a half-million Ohio voters will be removed in 2019 alone.

The campaign will send a text alert directly to the phones of voters. The message alerts Ohioans to verify their voter registration, with a link to the state’s registration website.

A transcript of the text is as follows:

“Hi! I’m Ron from All Voting is Local. Election Day is coming up! Is your voter registration up to date? Visithttp://bit.ly/VoterOH to check your registration”

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All Voting is Local fights to eliminate needless and discriminatory barriers to voting before they happen, to build a democracy that works for us all. It is a collaborative campaign housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the American Constitution Society; the Campaign Legal Center; and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. For more information about All Voting is Local, visit https://allvotingislocal.organd follow us on Twitter @votingislocal.

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