Settlement: Purged Ohio voters can cast provisional ballots through 2022

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has reached a settlement in a 2016 lawsuit with the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Ohio resident Larry Harmon that will allow eligible voters whose registrations have been canceled or will be canceled this year to continue casting ballots.

If an individual purged in 2019 casts a provisional ballot, it will serve as voter activity and they will be restored to the rolls, according to a press release from the ACLU of Ohio, which represented the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

“The reforms guaranteed by this settlement will go a long way in protecting Ohio voters’ right to exercise their voice in the political process,” said Freda Levenson, legal director at the ACLU of Ohio, in a release.


“Today’s settlement will not only prevent substantial numbers of eligible voters from being disenfranchised at the polls, it will also promote democracy by guaranteeing that qualified voters are given additional opportunities to register.”

Ohio Democratic Chairman David Pepper still wasn’t satisfied, tweeting in response to the Dispatch story about the agreement, “Not good enough. The purge needs to be frozen. And a full audit done. Voters should not pay the price when SOS makes the mistakes.”

Common Cause Ohio tweeted, “Some good news for Ohio voters!”

Earlier this year, Ohio canceled the registrations of about 267,000 voters after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state’s process of purging those who have not cast ballots for six years is constitutional.

Another 235,610 people were sent last-chance notices by Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections in July to warn them that their registration would be canceled on Sept. 6 unless they took action.

Thousands of those voters were mistakenly added to that list, though, and should not have received last-chance notices.