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Ohio Democratic Party Demands Halt Of Voter Purges, Independent Audit

Debbie Holmes

The Ohio Democratic Party is calling for a halt to the Secretary of State’s pruning of the voter rolls. The party wants an investigation into the process after mistakes in Franklin County where 1,251 voters were incorrectly flagged for removal.

Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper says he doesn’t think Franklin County’s mistake is the only one in the system. He thinks counties might be handling removalfrom voting rolls differently, which is why he wants a moratorium on that practice and an independent audit going back to the last administration.

“Before you keep moving forward on a broken system, call time-out and take a deep look at it," Pepper says.

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office says the Franklin County problems have been fixed.

In a written statement, spokeswoman Maggie Sheehan says county boards of elections weren’t given the flexibility to handle the process differently. She explains two counties submitted their information as two different lists and another initially submitted an earlier draft of the list, not the final draft. She says each of those discrepancies were swiftly resolved.

Sheehan says the Ohio Democratic Party is focusing on a situation that is wasting everyone’s time. Instead, she says the party should join the more than 20 organizations – including the NAACP, League of Women Voters, and Ohio Republican Party – that are reachingout to voters who are listed as having inactive registrations.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.