COLUMBUS – In February, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced an unprecedented effort to send voter registration forms to addresses which never responded to “last chance” postcards sent by their local county Board of Elections in 2018. The goal was to go above and beyond any previous effort to ensure those abandoned voter registrations had every opportunity to re-register.
On March 15, 2019, 264,516 letters were mailed explaining the Fresh Start campaign, as well as a voter registration form. The letter informed recipients that registration forms would need to be received by April 8th in order to vote in the Spring 2019 primary election.
“Every vote matters, and that’s why our Fresh Start campaign left no stone unturned,” said LaRose. “Moving forward, we’re working on finding ways to modernize our system so Ohioans can update their registration whenever they interact with state government. By doing so, we’ll be fulfilling our obligation to state and federal law to ensure election integrity, all while minimizing the impact to infrequent voters.”
The following results of the Fresh Start Campaign are as of
• 85,116 of the Fresh Start letters were returned to sender because the U.S. Postal Service deemed them “not deliverable” and “unable to forward”. This indicates the individual listed in the address of the registration no longer resides at that address and any applicable forwarding has expired.
• 376 voter registrations were received via mail and online that matched the name and address of the previously abandoned voter registration. This is equal to 0.1% of the total registrations sent a Fresh Start mailing.
• 164 voter registrations were received via mail and online that matched the name, but at a different address than the abandoned voter registration. This is equal to 0.06% of the total registrations sent a Fresh Start mailing.
• The total cost of the Fresh Start Campaign, including printing and postage, was $130,512.58.
The results were 376 voter registrations received that matched the name and address of the previously abandoned voter registrations. Of those, 3 were from Hardin County, 6 from Allen, 4 from Auglaize, 1 from Hancock, 3 from Logan, 4 from Marion, 2 from Union and 2 from Wyandot County.
The total cost of the Fresh Start campaign was just over $130,500.