MOUNT GILEAD — Democrat women recently did a count of Morrow County voter registration purge records and found that a total of 449 voters were taken off the records at the Morrow County Board of Elections this winter.
Susan Grundy said 277 were purged after the 2013 election; of those 259 had no party affiliation, 9 registered as Democrats and 9 registered as Republican. 172 were purged following the 2014 election and of those 150 had no party affiliation, 10 were registered as Democrats and 12 as Republicans.
Morrow County Board of Elections Director Penny Porter explained the process of “purging” or taking names of registered voters off the county registration lists. She said that those purged names are of persons who have not voted since 2013 and 2014.
Letters went out in 2009 to voters who hadn’t voted in the 2008 federal election asking them to update their registration. Letters were sent out again after inactivity in the 2013 and 2014 elections.
Letters were sent out not only to people who hadn’t voted in six years, but also to people who had no activity such as signing a petition. Voters can also update their registration through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) at the time they get license plates or drivers’ licenses. Porter said that they check with the BMV every week to get any updated registration updates.
“Any official activity at all is noted and keeps residents on our records,” Porter said.
Registration and keeping registration records updated is done several ways. Registering can be done online at www.MyOhioVote.com and at the Board of Elections office at the Community Services Building 619 W. Marion Rd. in Mount Gilead. You can also call the Board of Elections Office and they will mail a registration card that you can complete and mail to them.
Registration can be kept current by voting, submitting a new registration form if you have a new address and or a name change or using the online voter registration system. Registration must be done 30 days before the election.
You can cast a provisional ballot if you have not registered or if you moved recently. You can cast a provisional ballot on Election Day at your voting location. Provisional ballots are counted after election officials have verified eligibility to vote. The content on the provisional ballot is the same as on the regular ballot.
Porter said that most of the names purged are of people “who just haven’t voted in elections for several years.” Some of those voters have moved and a few of them are deceased. She said the Board of Elections office gets a yearly update on address changes from the Post office and the Ohio Dept. of Health gives a report on deceased voters.
People with a change of address get a notice of the change of voting location from the elections office for in county, in state and out of state. People who move to a new address in the county get a notice of their new county voting location (Precinct.)
Porter emphasized that the primary purpose of taking inactive voters off their records is for efficiency. Otherwise they could have thousands of inactive voters on their lists.
Early voting is possible at the Board of Elections Office at 619 W. Marion Rd. in Mount Gilead from April 9-26 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., April 29-May 3 from 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. May 4 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. May 5 from 1 p.m.- 5p.m. and Monday May 6 from 1p.m.-2p.m.
Vote at the polls on Election Day Tuesday, May 7. Board of Elections phone number is 419-946-4026. Their website is at www.morrowcountyohio.gov under drop down Administration and Board of Elections.