Elections chief narrows deletion of voter registrations

Elections chief narrows deletion of voter registrations

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's elections chief has taken steps to protect eligible voters from being removed from the rolls as more than 200,000 inactive registrations are deleted.

Instructions issued at Friday's deadline by Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose prohibit county election boards from canceling registrations listed as active, lacking adequate voter history or impacted by vendor errors.

LaRose also required boards to check in-person, online and mailed registration updates before proceeding.

The directive comes amid protracted legal wrangling over Ohio's stringent process for maintaining voter rolls. LaRose has emphasized the removals are required by state law.

Voter rights advocates credited LaRose for minimizing mistaken removals but said the so-called "purge" process for automatic removals should be eliminated.

Election officials say most of the canceled registrations involve people who have moved or died.