State Rep. Kathleen Clyde is an attorney specializing in voting rights issues and the ranking member on the House committee that handles voting issues in Ohio.
Ohio is a national leader – in voter purging. Illegal voter purging efforts, led by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, have affected more than 2 million Ohioans. It’s possible that you’ve been thrown off the voter rolls, and you don’t even know it.
However, voters across Ohio were just handed a huge victory. On Wednesday, a federal District Court ordered that Husted remedy his illegal voter purge by allowing the purged voters to vote and counting their ballots. Husted has been violating federal law by purging registered and eligible voters for not voting in previous elections. Have you skipped an election – even one? This could be you.
This decision was a long time coming. Since 2011, when Husted took office, Ohio has purged more voters from its rolls than any other state.
More than 2 million voters have been purged in the last five years alone, 1.2 million of them for infrequent voting. That’s more than just raw numbers – this purging has real-world impact. Husted’s policies have led to thousands of votes by registered and eligible voters being discarded – often without the voter even knowing that his or her vote was not counted.
Thankfully, this court decision has put an end – for now – to Husted’s illegal purging. Voters illegally purged by Husted over the past five years will have their votes counted during this important election. In rejecting Husted’s excuses, the District Court said if he doesn’t allow purged voters the ballot, he’ll be in violation of federal law and will be guilty of further voter disenfranchisement.
Enough is enough.