Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose ordered the Greene County Board of Elections to reject non-citizen voter registrations and put measures in place to ensure only citizens are allowed to cast their ballot in November.
LaRose made the ruling after voters in the Village of Yellow Springs this spring approved a village ordinance that would allow village residents to register and vote in village elections even if they are not U.S. citizens. In his directive sent to the Greene County Board of Elections on Thursday, LaRose said the measure violates both the U.S. Constitution and the Ohio Constitution.
“Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, the village of Yellow Springs forces me as Ohio’s chief elections officer to restate the obvious — only U.S. citizens may vote,” LaRose said.
Thursday’s letter directed the board to prohibit non-citizens from registering to vote, by Aug. 3, and to cancel the voter registrations of any non-citizen residents of Yellow Springs who may have already registered to vote. It also directed the board to prohibit any non-citizen residents in the village from voting on Yellow Springs ballot issues or for Yellow Springs candidates in any election in the village which the Greene County board is administering.
“Incredibly, I’m being put in a position where I need to remind a village here in Ohio that a vote is a sacred right which many have fought and bled to protect — but only a right that is earned by birth or the oath of citizenship,” LaRose said.