Written by: Brian Massie, Lake County, OH resident
You many read the previous four articles on this issue, by clicking on the “Voter Address Issue” at the top of our home page.
In part 4 of this series, we ended the article with the following statement:
“Stay tuned for our next installment of this series. We are still trying to find the solution to how voters can redact their addresses from the voter rolls.”
We have contacted several Lake County officials and have the answer on what we can do for the Lake County registered voters. However, before we proceed with our efforts asking our State Representative for a redress of our grievances, we wanted to ask the citizens if they want us to work on their behalf. We have created a poll at the end of this article and ask our readers to answer the poll. (All the polling information is secret, and no one knows how you may vote.)
I contacted Lake County officials about having my address redacted on the voter rolls.
(1) Here is Mr. Michael DeLeone’s (Assistant Prosecutor) response to my request to have my address redacted from the voter rolls:
I have reviewed your request for redaction. Please be advised that R.C. 149.45(D)(1) only allows for redaction of information regarding designated public service workers. A designated public service worker is defined in R.C. 149.43(A)(7). You have not presented any information that you qualify as a designated public service worker, thus it would be illegal to redact the information you request. If you do qualify as a designated public service worker, please provide this information. Otherwise, I will consider this request concluded.
If you believe that all citizens should have the right to redact their information, please contact your local state senator or state representative, as only the state legislature can amend these statutes.
Michael L. DeLeone
Assistant Prosecutor, Lake County
(2) We sent the following email to our Concord Township Trustees:
To all Concord Trustees:
We have been made aware of O.R.C. section 149.45 (D) (1) allowing protected classes of “public service workers” to have their addresses redacted on the Lake County Board of Elections voter registration rolls.
We noted that Mr. Dondorfer and Ms. Lucci have their addresses redacted from the voter registration rolls.
It is our position that this level of protection should be afforded to all Lake County citizens that wish to have their addresses redacted. This unequal treatment for a segment of the population is grossly unfair, and puts the majority of the population at risk from nefarious groups.
We would like your input in writing on whether you:
1. Support repealing O.R.C. 149.45 (D) (1),
2. Support having the state law changed to give ALL citizens the right to the protection offered to the “public service workers”.
3. Support the status quo, providing unequal treatment under the law.
Here are three articles that we have written dealing with this topic:
Lobbyists for Citizens
a 501 (c) (4) Non-Profit
The Concord Township Trustees do not want to handle this “hot potato”, and handed the ball off to Concord’s Administrator, Mr. Andrew Rose. Here is his response:
On behalf of the Trustees: Thank you for your email. The redaction of this information is not related to the offices Mr. Dondorfer and Ms. Lucci hold in Concord Township. The decision to maintain or repeal ORC 149.45(D)(1) is up to the State Legislature. We recommend you email our State Representative, Jamie Callender, for review.
So we get the message – loud and clear. No one is going to help the average citizen in Lake County. It is not their problem, and they will not even weigh in on the subject.
The lesson we would like the average citizen, those that do not have a lobbying group concerned about their personal welfare, is that WE must ban together to get our legislators to represent US! We must hold them accountable!
We have created a draft of a petition that we would like to present to Mr. Jamie Callender, State Representative District 61.
County of Circulation: Lake County, Ohio Petition No. 100
To Jamie Callender, Ohio State Representative District 61
The undersigned Ohio electors believe that the current language of O.R.C. 149.45 (A) (1) violates the United States Constitution’s 14th Amendment – Equal Protection Clause.
The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause requires states to practice equal protection. Equal protection forces a state to govern impartially—not draw distinctions between individuals solely on differences that are irrelevant to a legitimate governmental objective. Our government cannot take action that imposes a burden or confers a benefit on one class of persons to the exclusion of others.
Pursuant to Section 3519.01 (A) of the Ohio Revised Code, the undersigned, being electors of the State of Ohio in District 61, hereby submit to you the full text of a proposed change to the Ohio Revised code section 149.45 (D) (1).
CURRENT LANGUAGE OF O.R.C. SECTION 149.45 (D) (1)
“A designated public service worker may request that a public office, other than a county auditor, or a person responsible for the public records of a public office, other than a county auditor, redact the designated public service worker’s address from any record made available to the general public on the internet that includes designated public service worker residential and familial information of the designated public service worker making the request. A designated public service worker who makes a request for a redaction pursuant to this division shall make the request in writing and on a form developed by the attorney general.”
PROPOSED CHANGES TO O.R.C. Section 149.45 (D) (1)
A designated public service worker, or any other legal citizen, may request that a public office, other than a county auditor, or a person responsible for the public records of a public office, other than a county auditor, redact the designated public service worker’s, or any other legal citizen’s address from any record made available to the general public on the internet that includes designated public service worker, or any other legal citizen, residential and familial information of the designated public service worker making the request. A designated public service worker, or any other legal citizen who makes a request for a redaction pursuant to this division shall make the request in writing and on a form developed by the attorney general.
COMMITTEE TO REPRESENT THE PETITIONERS
We hereby designate the following named individuals as the committee to represent us in all matters relating to the petition and its circulation:
Brian Massie 8196 Rainbow Drive, Concord Township, OH 44077
Here is a link to the Secretary of State’s office that explains who are in the “protected class”.
it is not our goal to have their protection removed by repealing the O.R.C section 149.45 (D) (1), but rather allowing legal citizens to have the same right to “opt out” of having their addresses removed from the voter rolls. There should be no citizens that are “more equal” than others because of their status in society.
Before we proceed with collecting signatures for the petition, and then submitting it to Mr. Callender, we thought we would try to gauge the voters’ interest in this issue. To that end, we have created a survey to determine whether to move forward with this issue. Please complete the poll to let us know if you want us to represent you on this issue.
Thank you for answering our survey. We will let the survey run for a couple of weeks to gauge the voters’ interest in this issue. The results will be posted in another article.