Purge rolls, but do it properly

Politicians know what they are doing, in an era when not everyone reads past a headline. They make announcements about, for example, efforts to verify citizenship status on Ohio’s voter rolls — during which “The data found 137 voter registrations assigned to Ohio residents who have twice confirmed their non-citizenship status to the BMV,” because they know that kind of thing might gain them some political points from voters who aren’t looking for context.

To be clear, Frank LaRose is simply doing his job by verifying that all those who vote in Ohio are citizens who do so legally.

But given the absolutely insane desire by some political factions to fuel belief there is widespread voter fraud and that we have endured a series of “rigged” elections in this country, it is important to make the distinction between mistakes made on forms and actual intent to commit voter fraud.

The Ohio Capital Journal points out last year when LaRose (who, at that point, may have still believed he had a shot at a U.S. Senate seat) announced he’d uncovered 521 cases of alleged fraud, it turned out only ONE case of noncitizen voter fraud was proved.

So what LaRose’s office is doing is rightly weeding out registration submitted by those who did so in error. Again, that’s what’s supposed to happen. So far, according to what has been reported, he has not uncovered any illegally cast ballots this time around.

“These may be well-meaning people trying to pursue the American dream,” LaRose said in a press release, “and communication barriers sometimes result in a registration form being submitted in error. We need to help them get that cleared up before an accidental registration becomes an illegal vote that could result in a felony conviction or even deportation.”

Wonderful. Yes, let’s do that.

And let’s do it in a way that does not stoke paranoia, or rely on an electorate that does not do its homework. Voters have had enough of that game.


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