COLUMBUS – State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) sent a letter today to Ohio Secretary of State Husted urging him to release records related to the failure of the BMV and the Secretary’s office to timely send approximately 100,000 voter registration updates to Ohio’s Boards of Elections. The records were originally requested on April 2, 2013 but have been held back by his office. The failure resulted in unknown numbers of voters’ ballots being rejected, including at least one ballot that was cast in the contest House District 98 race by a college student living in Kent.
See the letter below:
Secretary of State Jon Husted
180 E. Broad Street, 16th floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Dear Secretary Husted,
I write to request the voter registration records that the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) was late in transmitting to your office just before the November 2012 election. News stories at the time indicated this late transmission took place around October 30, 2012 and included approximately 100,000 voters’ records. Ohio House of Representatives staff sought these records from your office on April 2, 2013, nearly 3 weeks ago. After repeated requests, your office has not produced any records in response.
These records are essential to understanding why some voters’ ballots were not counted in the 2012 election. For example, I know of one student voter residing in my district who updated his driver’s license and voter registration in Portage County sometime in the summer or fall of 2012. But his voter registration was not updated at the Board of Elections because of the failure by the BMV and your office to transmit the update. As a result, the young man cast an absentee ballot in his home county of Tuscarawas. But when your office scrambled to update tens of thousands of registrations at the last minute before Election Day, those individuals’ voter registration changes were backdated to October 9, 2012. Because of your errors, the young man’s ballot was rejected by the Tuscarawas County Board of Elections.
This young man’s ballot is under review as part of the House District 98 election contest lawsuit between Josh O’Farrell and Representative Al Landis. I need the complete list of voters whose data the BMV failed to transmit for up to 4 months so I can determine how many other voters in House District 98 and the rest of the state were affected by this major mistake.
The next hearing in the 98th House District Election Contest is tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Please send the records to my office electronically in a spreadsheet or similar format before the end of today.
Thank you in advance for your prompt response.
Ranking Member, Select Committee on the Election Contest in the 98th House District