Voter Purge : Check your status before Election Day

Ohio could be a crucial state in determining the outcome of November’s election. Ohio voters are being courted by all sides, as they are considered key to choosing the next president. But Ohio’s elections officials have a problem. As U.S. Election Assistance Commission officials have discovered, there is no rhyme or reason to the ways in which all 88 counties decide who to remove from the rolls in what most of them are calling the “voter purge.”

In Ohio, a person can be removed from voter rolls if he or she has not cast a ballot in years. And that is where the questions begin. There is not even an agreement among the counties about how many years pass before a voter is purged. The magic number is supposed to be six years; but some county elections officials are less than diligent in keeping track of such information, resulting in spikes in removal, poorly kept records and getting “a little different story wherever you go,” as Sandusky County Board of Elections Director Barb Tuckerman told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

That means voters in one county may be able to waltz into polling places in November, despite not having voted since sending George W. Bush to the White House, and be handed a ballot. Others who voted as recently as 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president, might be surprised to find out they are out of luck.

Such inconsistencies could make a big difference in November.

Do your homework, folks. If it has been a while since you voted, and you are unsure of your status, check with your county Board of Elections, now. Voter registration for the Nov. 8 general election ends Oct. 11, in Ohio. Do not set yourself up for a nasty surprise on Election Day.