Ohio Takes Steps To Ensure Only U.S. Citizens Can Vote In Elections

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced Tuesday that the state is implementing additional measures to confirm that only American citizens are voting in U.S. elections after a review found 137 foreign nationals registered to vote in the Buckeye State.

LaRose issued a directive to Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections initiating a confirmation and removal process of non-citizens from the state’s voter registration rolls. His office will also conduct an annual review of the statewide voter registration database as required by state law to identify individuals who appear not to be U.S. citizens.

“It is my duty under the law to uphold the constitution and the legislature has explicitly tasked me with ensuring that only eligible citizens can register and vote,” LaRose said in a statement. Over three-quarters of Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2022 stipulating that “only” U.S. citizens can vote in state and local elections.

A recent review of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles identification records discovered 137 voter registrations “assigned to Ohio residents who have twice confirmed their non-citizenship status to the BMV,” according to LaRose’s office. Under Ohio law, there must be two instances of an individual submitting records to the BMV indicating non-citizenship status before the secretary of state can begin the removal process from voter rolls.

Potential noncitizens identified will receive up to two notices from the secretary of state’s office instructing them to either confirm U.S. citizenship or submit a voter registration cancellation form. Failure to respond within 30 days of the second notice will result in the matter being referred to the attorney general for further investigation and possible prosecution.

LaRose’s office also requested access to citizenship data from several federal agencies to help identify potential noncitizens on Ohio’s voter rolls. This includes access to the SAVE database citizenship records from the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security and federal district court records disclosing individuals disqualified from jury service due to lack of U.S. citizenship.