Rep. Clyde Urges Secretary Of State To Send Absentee Ballot Application To All Ohio Voters
Secretary of State directive orders the exclusion of over 1 million voters
October 16, 2014
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State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) today sent a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted urging him to send an absentee ballot application to all Ohio voters. The Secretary has excluded over 1 million registered voters from his absentee ballot application mass mailing.  

A copy of the letter can be seen below:

Dear Secretary Husted,

I write today about a very important matter: the unequal treatment of voters in mail absentee voting. Your office has led Ohioans to believe that all voters are getting an absentee ballot application in the mail this year. Yet, your office announced yesterday that it is only sending out 6.58 million absentee ballot applications to Ohio voters for this election. The problem is that there are 7.74 million registered voters in Ohio. Why are over 1 million voters being excluded from this important mailing? Every eligible voter in Ohio should receive an absentee ballot application in the mail.  

Your directives indicate that you have segregated some voters into an “Inactive” group that you decided will not receive ballot applications. The legislature has not provided for segregating voters in this way. Your office has segregated hundreds of thousands of voters into the “Inactive” category with no evidence that their address is out of date. The voters have been targeted simply for not voting over a certain period that you designated. 

Legislative staff requested lists of which voters were already sent a ballot application and which voters were excluded, but the requests were denied. The excuse given was that the lists do not exist or that a private vendor possesses the lists. It is very troubling that these lists of voters are being hidden from the public. Transparency is essential to trustworthy elections. The public needs to know which voters you have deemed “Inactive” and why.

Senate Bill 205 will restrict the future mailing of absentee ballot applications, but your office was granted an exemption to send an absentee ballot application to all Ohio voters this year. Your office must do exactly that – send every Ohio voter an absentee ballot application. Picking and choosing who gets invited to vote with an absentee ballot is unfair, undemocratic and certainly not uniform. It is not too late to fix this. Along with the second mailing your office just announced, you can also send a ballot application to every voter who was excluded from the first mailing.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  It is crucial that you resolve this unfair, disparate treatment of Ohio voters right away. 


Kathleen Clyde

State Representative

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