By LOU WILIN
STAFF WRITER

Hancock County voters who have been purged from the voting rolls, for not voting over a six-year period, will still be able to vote in Tuesday’s general election.

Federal judges on Wednesday ordered Ohio to allow voters who were purged for not voting over a six-year period to participate in this year’s election.

Hancock County elections officials will accommodate people who find out that they are no longer registered for failing to vote since 2011, said Jody Beall O’Brien, director of the Hancock County elections board.

When someone shows up to vote and learns they are no longer in the poll book at their voting precinct, they can request that the voting location manager call the elections board office.

The elections board office will check its files, and if the person’s registration was purged for not voting since 2011, the voter will be allowed to vote with a paper ballot, O’Brien said.

The paper ballot will enable the elections board to check, during the 10 days following the election, that the individual was not registered elsewhere, she said.

No Hancock County residents who have tried to vote early for this election have been turned away for having been purged, O’Brien said.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned part of an Oct. 10 ruling by a federal judge that said voters had not been illegally purged from Ohio’s rolls.

Voting rights groups in June lost their broader challenge to Ohio’s election administration process when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ohio’s practices.

But the groups continued to challenge the confirmation notices the state sent to voters that set off the process of removing them from county voter rolls after not voting in three federal elections or taking other voting-related actions. The groups said the letters were too vague.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

Secretary of State Jon Husted said he wouldn’t fight the latest court order to avoid “an unnecessary source of contention” with the election just a few days away.

Wilin: 419-427-8413
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