LIMA — If elected, Ohio Secretary of State candidate Kathleen Clyde, D-Kent, is looking to reverse Ohio’s current voter roll purging process that kicks voters off the books if they forgo voting in three federal elections, which was challenged and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling.
“Ohio is the only state that does it this aggressively,” Clyde said. “What the court said is Ohio could continue that process, but it’s up to the secretary of state if they want to continue it. So I will stop purging people simply because they choose not to vote in a few elections.”
As one of the many state candidates who visited the Allen County Fair this week, Clyde took her turn Thursday night talking to voters about issues affecting Ohio’s election process, which the Ohio Secretary of State is responsible for.
“I’m seeing that people are wanting to make sure we have fair and secure elections in our state so I’ve been working on a cybersecurity plan to make sure that all our voting systems are protected from any cyber threats,” Clyde said.
Clyde is currently the State Representative for Ohio District 75 and has served in that role for the last eight years. Prior to her time in the state legislature, she practiced and specialized in election law. Her opponent in the November election is State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Hudson.
Outside of being Ohio’s highest official in charge of elections, the Ohio Secretary of State also has a voice in deciding how the state chooses its state districts. Clyde said current districts fail in representing how the Ohio residents actually vote.
Ohio is often considered a swing state because of its roughly 50/50 split between liberals and conservatives among the larger population, but both legislative bodies of its the State General Assembly hold conservative super majorities.
“That’s how the voting patterns go,” Clyde said. “But in the Ohio House, we have a Republican super majority and it’s the same thing in the Ohio Senate. So we really need to have our state government look like the people of our state.”
Clyde said she supported the latest redistricting reform in Ohio’s General Assembly — a bipartisan initiative — but, there’s still more than be done to strengthen some of the language prohibiting partisan gerrymandering.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.