Ohio Secretary of State John Husted made a stop at the Crawford County Board of Elections on Monday to relay information about the Safe at Home Program.
Two bills are currently in the state and local government affairs committee that will protect the addresses of victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, stalking and other violent crimes in which the victims need protection.
“Registered voters’ information is public record and the downside to that is that sometimes people do not register out of fear they will be tracked,” said Husted.
Husted said several victims of domestic violence have testified at state hearings on the bills that have been located by their perpetrators through public records such as voter registrations.
“Everyone should have the right to vote without fear of violence,” Husted said.
Husted said the program will allow victims of violent crimes to register through the board of elections in their county, their county prosecutor’s office, of his office.
“Their address will be a post office box for my office so their address will not be compromised,” Husted said.
Crawford County Prosecutor Matthew Crall said he supports the program.
“It’s very important to give victims of these types of crimes power over their own lives again and this is one way to do that,” Crall said.
Husted said 38 states already have similar programs in place.
“We have modeled our program after programs in other states,” Husted said.
Husted said the program will be paid through fees assessed to perpetrators of crimes such as domestic violence and human trafficking and is hopeful the program will be in place before the presidential election in November.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras