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LaRose Orders Board of Elections To Reject Yellow Springs' Non-Citizen Voter Registrations

Greene County Board of Elections
Chris Welter
Greene County Board Of Elections In Xenia

Yesterday, Frank LaRose, Ohio’s Secretary of State, ordered the Greene County Board of Elections to reject non-citizen voter registrations in the village of Yellow Springs.

This past March, voters in Yellow Springs approved a village charter amendment allowing residents who aren't US citizens to vote in local elections. Brian Housh, the village’s council president, says that since Ohio is a “home rule” state, local municipalities like Yellow Springs should be able to do what they want in their elections.

“Republicans always tout that it's about local control. Yet in Ohio, whenever municipalities try to do things like gun control or whatever, the state's taken that away from them.” Housh says, “So this is another example of a Republican majority in Ohio taking away the home rule powers.”

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says municipalities are only allowed to exercise “home rule powers” if they are not in conflict with the state’s general laws. LaRose says this amendment violates both the United States and the Ohio Constitution. Housh says Yellow Springs has not yet figured out what their response will be, but they do not intend to use tax-payer money if they are forced to litigate.

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.