Judge rules 1 million Ohio voters removed from voter rolls can legally vote

Voting in Montgomery county
Voting in Montgomery county

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A new court ruling is impacting nearly 1 million Ohio voters who were removed from voter rolls and now it’s causing some confusion at the polls.

For Ohio voters–who haven’t cast a ballot in the last six years–your voter registration may have been illegally cancelled. A U.S district court has ruled that you *can* vote in this election.

Now, local election officials are working extra hours to make sure those votes count.

“This will be a tremendous amount,” Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly said. “Of extra work for us.”

That extra work comes after a U.S. District Court decided late Wednesday that voters purged from voter rolls since January 1, 2011 can legally vote.

The original law was designed to remove voters from the rolls who died or moved out of state. The new ruling allows voters to vote provisionally–meaning their vote won’t be counted until election officials can verify their address and who they say they are.

Election officials say the verification process is a tedious one.

“Provisional ballots take a long time to go through,” Jan Kelly said. “And to count or not count so we have had extra staff here at the board of elections.”

The provisional ballots won’t be officially submitted to the Electoral College until after the election. That has some people unhappy, but League of Woman Voters Director Susan Hesselgesser says don’t worry your vote will still count.

“When we tell people that they get a little upset,” Hesselgesser said. “But technically the vote is counted like that the electoral college makes the decision in January so all votes count it’s just whether or not they are actually counted on Election Day.”

Hesselgesser says the rulling has lead to dozens of calls coming into her office from confused voters.

“People are more aware of the voter registration,” Hesselgesser said. “But they are more worried that for some reason they were knocked out when they normally would not have been.”

If you’re one of the 846,391 Ohio voters taken off the list–not to worry you can still vote on Election Day–just bring the last four digits of your social security number and your driver’s license number.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections say right now employees are working about 65 to 70 hours a week and they plan on continuing that until mid-December. They must submit all the verified provisional ballots by November 29th.

 

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