In response to a recent court ruling over the illegal purging of voter registrations by Secretary of State Jon Husted, the ACLU of Ohio is issuing this alert for all voters in the 2016 presidential election. It is critically important that any voter who may have been wrongfully purged from the voter rolls knows that they may still cast a provisional ballot in the 2016 presidential election and it will count. If voters arrive at their polling place on Election Day and they do not appear in the poll books, they should firmly but respectfully insist they have the right to cast a provisional ballot. All voters should fill out their provisional ballots carefully and completely to ensure it will be counted. The ACLU of Ohio also has this information available at www.acluohio.org/vote.
- Can I still vote in the 2016 presidential election? Yes, voters who were purged because they were inactive may cast a provisional ballot at their polling place. If you have not moved, or have only moved within the county you were registered, your vote will in most cases count.
- Can I vote early if I have been illegally purged? Yes, you can vote early in-person with a provisional ballot.
- Can I vote if I have moved since I last voted? It depends. If you moved outside of the county you were registered to vote, you should have registered in that county, and you may not be qualified to vote. If you have not moved or only moved within the county, you can cast a provisional ballot and it may be counted.
- Do I need to do anything after I’ve cast my provisional ballot to make sure it counts? No, you are not required to provide any additional proof if you’ve been illegally purged—your vote should be counted. You can call your local Board of Elections after the election to inquire about the status of your provisional ballot.
- How will I know if I’ve been illegally purged? You can check your voter registration status at www.MyOhioVote.com. As part of the court’s order, the Secretary of State and Boards of Elections must have information on their websites informing voters that if they have been illegally purged that they may be able to cast a provisional ballot and have it counted. There will also be information online and available by telephone to help you determine where your correct polling place is located.
- The poll worker told me that they cannot find me in the poll books and said I am not a registered voter. What should I do? Calmly, but firmly insist that you are entitled to a provisional ballot. If the poll worker is still unwilling to give you a provisional ballot, ask to speak to their supervisor or someone at the Board of Elections offices. Do not leave your polling place without casting a provisional ballot.
- Do I still need to provide identification? Yes, all voters must provide some form of approved ID. Voters who lack necessary ID must cast a provisional ballot anyway, but it is important that you follow up with the Board of Elections afterwards to ensure they have the information they need to count your ballot. A list of approved IDs is available at www.acluohio.org/vote.
If you feel your rights have been violated, write down everything you can remember, including names of any election officials, where you attempted to cast your ballot, any information they provided you, and any other details. Get contact information for witnesses.
Voters who believe their rights have been violated are encouraged to report these concerns to:
ACLU of Ohio
Attn: Intake Department
4506 Chester Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44103
Or fill out our Voter Complaint Form at www.acluohio.org/votercomplaint