Ohio’s voting system needs an update after non-citizens cast ballots


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – When 354 non U.S. citizens register to vote for an election in Ohio, and 77 of them actually do vote, people want to know how that could happen.

This comes down to Ohio having what Secretary of State Frank LaRose calls an antiquated system in need of an update for the 21st century.

Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, Jen Miller, was in Washington D.C. this week for the National Election Protection Conference.

There’s this mythology that voter fraud is rampant and what this proves is that it really isn’t.

Jen Miller, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of Ohio.

Ohio’s Secretary of State agrees.

This is a relatively small number considering that there are 7.5 million registered voters in the State of Ohio, but it’s not insignificant. I mean, we don’t tolerate any level of voter fraud.

Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State (R)

Both were asked how this could happen.

They may have just not understood the system because English is not their first language.”

Jen Miller, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of Ohio.

LaRose said another explanation could be there are people in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen and thinking that registering to vote would prove how good of an American they will be.

​​My heart goes out to folks who are in this circumstance, because it’s a misunderstanding, but in fact someone who fills out a voter registration form before they’re a United States citizen may actually be jeopardizing that process.

Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State (R)

Ultimately though the manual paper process and human error takes the brunt of the blame for things like this slipping through, and LaRose said automatic registration would be a huge improvement.

In the year 2019 we can do better than these paper forms and manual data entry and everything else, and with that more modernized system, we could prevent these on the front end.

Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State (R)

LaRose has set up a multi-lingual hotline for non-English speakers to call if they have questions, but the mailings that are sent out to warn them they have done something wrong are in English.

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