Duplicate voters dumped

Work to scrub Ohio’s active voter rolls clean of duplicate registrations was successful and an example, according to the state’s top elections official, of ”making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”

Secretary of State Jon Husted announced in an email early last week that nearly all duplicate registrations have been cleared from Ohio’s statewide voter registration database. Heading into Election Day on Tuesday, there were just four duplicate registrations.

A news release from Husted’s office said the reduction is a ”dramatic drop” from the more than 340,000 duplicate registrations that were on the books when Husted took over in January 2011.

The state’s database contains 7.7 million voters.

Husted in the release said keeping accurate voter rolls helps to ”ensure greater security” and ”more efficiency” in running elections in Ohio. Also, keeping the records up-to-date instills confidence in Ohio’s voters, Husted said.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland, likely Democrat who will challenge Husted in 2014, took the announcement as an opportunity to call for greater poll access for Ohio voters, a familiar theme in her campaign.

Turner told the Plain Dealer in Cleveland in a story Wednesday that while current and accurate voter records are important for efficient elections, ”they are worthless if the people those records represent don’t have unfettered access to the ballot box.”

Turner, outspoken against Husted’s attempt to reduce early voting in Ohio, went on to tell the Plain Dealer she’s sure Ohioans would appreciate Husted pursuing increased poll access with the ”same zeal” as he has with removing voters from the records.

Husted also provided some voter roll statistics in his email.

Among them were voter records with complete information is up, from 20 percent in January 2011 to now 86 percent. And since the same time, almost 245,000 deceased Ohioans were verified dead and taken off the polls.

Tuesday is Election Day, but many people don’t seem to know it or just don’t care about it.

Numbers given to me by the directors of the boards of elections in Trumbull and Mahoning counties suggest turnout will be low – about 30 percent in Trumbull County and around 38 percent in Mahoning County.

That is too bad, considering there is plenty of time to vote on Tuesday – the polls are open 13 hours, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. – and voters had five weeks before Tuesday to cast a ballot early, in-person at the elections board office or ask for one to be sent through the mail.

So if you haven’t voted yet, please do at the polls on Tuesday.