State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) learned Wednseday that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted issued a directive ordering Boards of Elections to target voters who have not voted since March 2012 for eventual purging. Rep. Clyde released the following statement in response:

“Just last week, we asked Secretary Husted not to purge voters simply because they vote less frequently than other voters.  Our requests have once again been ignored as today’s directive does just that. 

“Once again, the Secretary is ignoring the Ohio law that he passed as Speaker that requires a directive to go through a public comment period before it is issued to the Boards of Elections as a mandate.  And, he is violating federal law which says your registration shall not be purged simply for not voting.

“Secretary of State Husted should rescind this vote suppressing directive immediately, issue a new draft directive for public comment, and then release a fully vetted and lawful directive to the boards of elections.”

The federal Motor Voter law explicitly prohibits purging voters just for not voting.  Voter registration records maintenance involves sending mailings to voters who may have filled out a change of address form at the Post Office.  The other acceptable way under federal and state law to contact voters and confirm their address is by mailing a uniform and nondiscriminatory notice to all other voters.  Instead, Secretary Husted is targeting only the voters who have not voted since the 2012 presidential primary election.  

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