Election board finds no merit in voter registration challenge
DetailsCreated on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 01:24 Written by Doug Rogers Hits: 1071
A written challenge against 62 voter registrations proved unsuccessful Monday afternoon. That’s after the Portage County Board of Elections dismissed the complaint on grounds election laws addressed the challenger’s concerns.
Sorting through the Challenges with the Portage County Board of Elections
From the start, 19 challenges were quickly dismissed.
The rest of voter registrations were sorted into five groups recommended for a hearing.
Student voters were among those quickly dismissed from the challenge. Some of their voter registrations were among 17 under scrutiny for incomplete addresses. Failing to include the area desk name or dorm room numbers in the address for students living on-campus is not grounds to dismiss their voter applications. Registrations in question include both Kent State and Hiram College students. Nursing home residents who do not include their unit number also are dismissed from the challenge.
A Ravenna woman filed the challenge August 31st on behalf of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project. The documents address Portage county voter registrations marked active in voter registration database. The challenger did not wish to discuss the situation and referred us to a spokesperson for the organization.
Notices of the hearing were mailed to all 62 voters whose registrations are in question, but none were present for today’s hearing. The notices were mailed to them six days in advance.
The original complaint includes:
Additionally, 33 voter registration challenges are not valid because the voters have already been placed in confirmation status. Their voter registrations are in danger of expiring and being purged. The registrations were already at this stage before the challenge, meaning the situation is already under control.
“The people who were challenged here today were challenged by already having been put on confirmation or provisional status,” says Board of Elections Chairman Craig Stephens.
The challenge against the registrations of four deceased voters is not valid, either. Two of the voters have registrations marked under confirmation status. The Board of Elections cannot delete their registrations until Ohio Vital Statistics notifies the board of the voter’s death during a regular update or it receives notification the person has died in another state.
Two active voters no longer have to worry about their registrations due to a lack of evidence.
While none of the voting registrations were threatened by the challenge, the Board of Elections reminded the people in attendance the seriousness of carefully reviewing the registrations to preserve the democratic process.
“It’s the Ground Zero of protecting someone’s right to vote,” says Stephens.
He says these challenges help eliminate voter fraud and the hassle of showing ID at the polls ensures registered voters are entitled to the opportunity to cast a ballot.