Ohio Secretary Of State Orders Removal Of Non-Citizens From Voter Rolls

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose directed county election boards on Tuesday to begin the process of removing non-U.S. citizens from the state’s voter registration rolls following an investigation that found over 100 Ohio residents registered to vote despite not having American citizenship.

The Public Integrity Division analyzed data from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and identified 137 individuals on voter rolls who had twice confirmed to the BMV that they were not U.S. citizens. Ohio law requires a person to have confirmed their non-citizen status to the BMV on two separate occasions and have updated their voter registration, or voted in between those occasions, before they can be removed from voter rolls.

LaRose’s office stated “These individuals will receive at least two written notices from the secretary of state’s office, asking them to confirm their citizenship status or cancel their registration. Failure to respond to these notices will result in removal of the registration from the voter rolls by the county boards of elections.”

While improper voter registration could lead to prosecution in some cases, LaRose noted that not all instances are criminal, stating, “It’s important to recognize that some of these registrations may be the result of an honest mistake. These may be well-meaning people trying to pursue the American dream and communication barriers sometimes result in a registration form being submitted in error.”

LaRose’s office believes there may be more non-citizens registered to vote than the initial investigation revealed. To address this, Ohio is calling on the Biden administration to provide access to several sources of citizenship data, including the SAVE database citizenship information from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, as well as federal district court records of individuals disqualified from jury service due to lack of U.S. citizenship.