Officials in Ohio have removed tens of thousands of voters from registration lists for not recently voting, according to a new report.
Purged voters have not cast ballots in the Buckeye State since the 2008 presidential election, according to Reuters.
“If this is [a] really important thing to you in your life, voting, you probably would have done so within a six-year period,” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) said Thursday.
Husted said Ohio has cleared out more than 2 million records of people who have moved or died since 2011.
He added that the state does the same to infrequent voters, adding that potential cuts are mailed a postcard before removal.
Reuters reported that each of Ohio’s 88 counties manages its own voting rolls, which generally are not made public.
At least 144,000 voters have been expelled across the state’s three biggest counties, it added, but the statewide total remains unclear.
Reuters said its analysis of statewide voting rolls found it may be boosting Republicans in Ohio’s largest metropolitan areas.
Voters in Democratic-leaning voters in the three-largest counties were struck at approximately twice the same rate as their GOP counterparts.
Reuters added historical turnouts show voters in relatively affluent Republican neighborhoods typically participate in more congressional and presidential elections.
Those in poorer, Democratic-leaning communities less frequently participate in midterm elections, increasing their chances of exclusion.
“It’s absolutely unfair,” said Donna Porter-Jones, an organizer at Amos Project, an interfaith group aiming to register 30,000 voters from Cincinnati’s poorest neighbors before November.
“You shouldn’t be struck of your right to vote because you skipped an election,” said Kathleen Clyde, a Democratic state representative who opposes the practice.
Reuters said Ohio is a key swing state, having ultimately picked the winner of every presidential election since 1960.