COLUMBUS – Just days before the May primary election, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) has learned that the Ohio Secretary of State has again failed to timely transmit months of voter registrations updates as required by federal and state law. The delay will have both boards of elections and voters scrambling to fix the error.
This is a repeat of the major mistake made during November 2012 election cycle when nearly 100,000 Ohio voters’ registration updates from the BMV were sent to local boards of election just days before a major presidential election.
“How could the Secretary of State make this colossal mistake twice?” asked Rep. Clyde. “Absentee ballots will be rejected because of this mistake. Provisional ballots will be rejected because of this mistake. Boards of election workers will have to work overtime because of this mistake. Counties will have to pay to reprint thousands of precinct poll books because of this mistake. Voters and local governments that can least afford it will be paying the price here, and that’s unacceptable.”
Federal motor voter law requires the BMV to send voter registration data to election officials within 5 to 10 days of acceptance. State law requires registrations to be transmitted from the BMV to election officials within five days.
“The law is very clear here,” stated Rep. Clyde. “It is inexcusable that Ohio continues to be out of compliance with this decades-old federal law –and state law– especially when Ohioans’ rights to vote are at stake. We can and we must do better.”