Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced on June 14 a partnership with the Electronic Registration Information Center ahead of the 2016 Presidential Election.
The state’s participation in ERIC will get more Ohioans registered to vote and further improve the voter rolls by tapping into new sources of data to check for any duplicate registrations and deceased voters that have yet to be resolved.
ERIC is a national, non-profit organization with 20 member states. It was founded in order to tackle the ongoing challenges of maintaining accurate voter registration records.
“This is the latest example of how we are using technology to ensure more accurate voter rolls, making it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” Secretary Husted said. “When the voter records are up-to-date opportunities for voter fraud decrease, polling place wait times are cut, fewer provisional ballots are cast and more ballots are counted.”
ERIC uses a combination of public and private data to help states more accurately identify voters who have moved or died so the voter rolls can be appropriately updated.
The system will also help Ohio identify those who are eligible to vote, but have not registered, so they can be contacted and encouraged to join the voter rolls and participate in future elections.
Since Secretary Husted took office in 2011, Ohio has removed nearly 475,000 deceased voters from the rolls and resolved over 1.3 million duplicate registrations. Over 1.5 million voters have updated their registration after receiving the state’s National Change of Address mailing and 343,000 Ohioans have utilized Secretary Husted’s new online change of address tool.
The improvements made during Secretary Husted’s administration to Ohio’s voter rolls have resulted in fewer provisional ballots being cast and a larger percentage of both cast absentee and provisional ballots being counted. In the eleven major election cycles since Secretary Husted took office, just over 551,000 provisional ballots have been cast, with 86 percent of those cast being counted. In the eight major election cycles of the previous administration, nearly 563,000 provisional ballots were cast with only 83.2 percent having been counted.
Since ERIC’s creation, the organization has helped states identify over 3 million out-of-date registrations, including:
12,000,000 unregistered voters identified
623,358 voters who moved across state lines, but did not update their registration
2,790,051 voters who moved within their state, but did not update their registration
54,700 duplicate registrations
150,062 deceased voters
The Pew Charitable Trusts is awarding Ohio a $400,000 grant to offset the costs associated with sending voter registration notices to Ohioans who are unregistered or who need to update their registration.