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New Ohio voter accuracy pilot program rolled out

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(The Center Square) – Six Ohio counties will get a unique look at issues flagged with registered voters, which Secretary of State Frank LaRose hopes will increase the accuracy of state voting records.

Election boards in Clermont, Franklin, Gallia, Lake, Lucas, and Warren counties will get access to a special digital dashboard that is expected to help officials identify discrepancies in voter rolls that need further review.

“We have a duty under the law to maintain accurate voter rolls, and that requires constant vigilance,” LaRose said. “Hundreds of times every day, a registered voter dies, moves, changes a name or cancels a registration. We also have records that for many years have been manually entered into the system from a hand-written form. That process can sometimes lead to human error, and this program will help our county elections officials more effectively clear up these issues.”

LaRose spokesman Ben Kindel told The Center Square the dashboard is another tool local officials will use during regular list maintenance processes, which happen daily and weekly. Before the dashboard was created, local boards managed their systems.

Kindel also said most voter registration errors come when officials mistakenly hit the wrong keyboard stroke when updating forms or improper transcriptions from hand-filled registration forms.

“These errors accumulate over time, and many aren’t resolved until they are caught up in Ohio’s six-year supplemental process,” Kindel said.

The pilot program gives the six counties access to dashboards that show the number of registration records flagged for potential errors, such as illegal characters in name fields, placeholder birth dates, unreasonably high ages and improper birth/registration date combinations.

Counties will also see a clear summary of the number of resolved records and the average resolution time.

“You must have accurate voter rolls to conduct elections,” said Brian Sleeth, past president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials and director of the Warren County Board of Elections. “We support Secretary LaRose’s effort to help the counties do this important voter list maintenance work, and we look forward to making the pilot program a success that can be rolled out statewide.”

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