COLUMBUS — Following the news Thursday that Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose will allow purged voters — including those improperly purged — only the opportunity to cast provisional ballots in upcoming elections, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper renewed his and others’ call for an immediate halt to LaRose’s purging of Ohio voters and an independent statewide audit.
“The Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, the ACLU of Ohio, and Demos have done yeoman’s work since filing their suit to stop the purging process a number of years ago. But the settlement of that case does not let Secretary LaRose paper over the crisis at hand — that with the next purge a week away, activists and journalists have in recent weeks identified thousands of voters who had been improperly targeted for removal from the voting rolls. Voters shouldn’t be purged, and punished, for mistakes by the Secretary of State’s office,” said Pepper.
“Rather than relying on volunteers and journalists to save Ohio’s voters from government error, we need an outside entity to conduct a full audit and accounting of the state’s and each county’s voter purging procedures going back to the purging under Jon Husted. Until we know the real extent of these errors and improper voter purges, and we can ensure that voters are treated the same in every county, it is incumbent that the purging process be stopped.”