Ohio Sec. of State Moves to Purge Alleged Noncitizens From Voter Rolls

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced yesterday that his office instructed the board of elections in 88 counties to begin the process of removing noncitizen voters from election registration rolls. 

According to a press release from LaRose’s office, at least 137 noncitizen voters were allegedly identified by the secretary of state’s Public Integrity Division and Office of Data Analytics and Archives, through records from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Both Ohio and federal law prohibits noncitizens from registering to vote in state and federal elections and, according to LaRose’s office, the voters were identified through data that showed they twice confirmed their noncitizenship status to the BMV and were also on the voter registration rolls. 

Though that doesn’t necessarily mean all 137 voters are noncitizens who were illegally registered to vote; it could mean that either the BMV or voter registration data is out-of-date. As a result, the voters will receive two written notices from LaRose’s office to confirm their citizenship status. 

LaRose’s announcement comes on the heels of a nationwide push by congressional Republicans to ban noncitizens from voting in federal elections. Last week, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced a bill requiring people to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote in federal elections. 

The bill, entitled the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act, was first mentioned in April by Johnson during a press conference with former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort, where both Republicans falsely implied that enough noncitizens are voting that “it could turn an election.” 

The reality is that the unproven phenomena of noncitizen voting is a frequent scare tactic from the GOP. Numerous reports and studies have shown that instances of noncitizen voting in federal elections is extremely rare. And yet it’s not the first time congressional Republicans have tried to ban noncitizens from voting, despite the fact that the practice has been prohibited since at least 1996, when Congress passed a law making it illegal. 

In response to LaRose’s announcement, the Ohio Voter Right Coalition, a pro-voting nonprofit organization in the Buckeye State, put out a call to action for voters to check their registration to make sure they don’t get wrongly purged from the state’s voter registration. 


Wyoming voids 28% of its voter registrations in mandatory purge

By Maggie MullenWyoFile

Thousands of Wyoming residents could be surprised on Election Day when they show up to cast a ballot only to discover they’re no longer registered to vote. 

There are currently about 83,500 fewer registered voters in the state than at the end of 2022, a roughly 28% drop, according to data released Wednesday by the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office.

The sizable dip follows a mandatory voter purge that was likely magnified by a major shift in voter turnout between the 2020 and 2022 elections.

Wyoming law has long required county clerks to purge voter rolls each February, a process that involves removing voters who did not cast a ballot in the most recent election. So it’s not unusual for voter rolls to fluctuate. And, of course, some of that purge inevitably includes voters who have died or moved away. 

Still, local election officials and nonprofit organizations are hoping to inform voters ahead of time to avoid frustration or having to turn them away at the polls. 

“Our concern is simply people not realizing that they’re no longer registered and not bringing with them the appropriate materials to get re-registered, because you can register at the polls,” Tom Lacock with AARP told WyoFile. 

While a Wyoming driver’s license or ID card, a United States passport, a tribal ID card, a U.S. military card and some student IDs would be sufficient identification to register and to vote, other forms of identification would not. 

A Medicare or Medicaid insurance card, or a Wyoming concealed firearm permit, for example, would not allow someone to register to vote, but are acceptable IDs for already registered voters to cast a ballot. 

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Chuck Gray said the provision requiring the purge has been in state law for more than 50 years. 

“Voter roll hygiene and voter registry maintenance is extremely important to maintaining integrity and confidence in our electoral process,” he wrote in a statement to WyoFile. 


All 23 of Wyoming’s counties have experienced a decrease in registered voters since December 2022, according to the data. 

Campbell County saw the biggest drop, losing 34% of its voter registrations, while the smallest decrease was recorded in Hot Springs County at 17%. 

Laramie County Clerk Debra Lee pointed to a very high turnout in 2020 as one cause for the decline.  

“And so our voter rolls were large. And then in 2022, we had record low turnout [in the general election],” Lee told WyoFile, which fits the convention that presidential elections draw more voters than the midterms.

“That’s why we ended up with so many people who were purged,” Lee said. 

As is routine, Wyoming’s county clerks mailed notifications to the last known addresses of those who were set to be dropped from the voter rolls in 2023. This gave voters the opportunity to notify the clerk if they wanted to remain registered. 

Thousands ended up purged anyway. 

That included many who voted in 2022’s primary election, but not the general — which squares with another typical voting trend. The majority of races in Wyoming are effectively decided in August due to the state’s Republican supermajority.

Lacock said AARP is encouraging voters to contact their local county clerks to verify that they’re still registered, or ask any questions related to other changes to this year’s election. 

The window for absentee voting — also known as early voting — is shorter than before for most voters, and there’s a new limit on when voters can affiliate with a political party. 

The primary election is Aug. 20. Voter registration is now open. The last day registered voters can change their party affiliation is May 15. Unregistered voters, like those recently purged, can choose their party affiliation while registering, even if doing so after May 15, including at the polls on election day.

The candidate filing period runs May 16 to 31.


How to find out if you are still registered to vote before Ohio’s purge

By: Morgan Trau

Posted at 6:51 PM, May 03, 2024

and last updated 6:30 PM, May 03, 2024

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ahead of the November election, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has instructed officials to purge inactive voters from the rolls. Here is what you need to do to find out if you are still registered — plus how you can stay registered.

Ohioans are gearing up for the presidential election.

“I’ts very important to vote, got a lot of decisions to make,” Cuyahoga County voter Mary Jo Boehnlein said.

Boehnlein votes in every election. But not everyone does, like Cynthia Hatcher.

“Not the preliminaries,” Hatcher said. “Mostly November is when I really look forward to voting.”

Now — county boards of elections are trying to warn the infrequent voters to check their registration.

“A voter purge is just really an opportunity for us to keep our voter rolls clean,” Tony Kaloger, the deputy director of the Cuyahoga County BOE, said.

LaRose has just ordered local officials to start removing inactive voters, and the officials must have a list of people who they intend to remove by May 21. By May 31, final “registration readiness notice” mailers must be sent out.

Kaloger explained this happens every few years. If you change your mailing address and don’t vote for four years, your voter status could be canceled. Even if you don’t move but you don’t vote for six years — you could also be purged.

“There’s a lot of checks and balances to make sure that people who are registered, who do live in Cuyahoga County, do not unfairly or prematurely get canceled,” he said.

As stated above, boards of elections will send out mail numerous times to try to get you to confirm your address and voter status. If you respond, they will keep you on. You can also go to the local office or give them a call to ask about your status.

Although he didn’t last year, LaRose is supposed to put out a list of everyone he is removing from the rolls before the voter registration deadline. You can always go on the secretary of state website to look up if you are still registered.