(The Center Square) – After Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose purged nearly 27,000 voters from the rolls less than a week ago, Statehouse Democrats say voters’ rights need to be protected.
Democratic lawmakers from both the House and Senate called on LaRose to either resign or suspend his campaign for the U.S. Senate and want the voter purge to pause until after Tuesday’s general election.
“In light of his abuse of taxpayer dollars, his neglect of voters, and frankly disrespect of the office he holds, I am doing what any sane person would and calling for Secretary LaRose to either resign as secretary of state or suspend his Senate bid and concentrate on the job he was elected to do,” Sen. Bill DeMora, D-Columbus, said at a news conference Tuesday. “He has clearly shown to the people of Ohio that he cannot do both at the same time.”
LaRose responded on social media, saying all voters removed met the criteria for removal.
“We removed registrations that have (1) moved or died, (2) haven’t voted at their registered address in four years and (3) haven’t responded to multiple rounds of warnings that they’re eligible for removal. They meet ALL three of those criteria. It’s fitting that liberals are trying to help dead people vote on Halloween,” LaRose said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
LaRose, a Republican, removed the voters Sept. 27, two weeks before in-person early voting began and five days after he announced the official beginning of the election with ballots mailed to military and overseas voters.
Voters removed from the rolls can reregister to vote but had to do so on or before Oct. 10 to be eligible to vote in this election.
Nearly 18% of the voters removed were from Franklin County, a heavily Democratic county.
Desiree Tims, executive director and CEO of Innovation Ohio, said 10% of the voters purged are Black, 65% are under 50 years old, and 4,000 voted in August or last November.
“I am calling on the secretary to reverse this voter purge and pause it for all 88 counties until after the election, as he has already done for three counties he cherry-picked,” said Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney, D-Westlake. “It is incumbent upon the secretary to provide Ohioans with answers. They deserve to have confidence in our elections.”