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Youth voters who don't have driver licenses or state IDs are left out of Ohio's youth voter registration drive.

One in six Ohio youth are left out of voter registration drive

Ohio's campaign to boost youth voter registration, by mailing how-to postcards in August to 120,000 unregistered young adults with driver licenses or state IDs, is getting praise from voting rights activists.

But some of those advocates say the campaign has a serious flaw: Increasing numbers of young people, especially the poor and minorities, aren't getting their licenses or signing up for the IDs. At least 17 percent of Ohio's 18-year-olds don't have either, the Cleveland Plain Dealer calculated based on state records and census estimates.

The potential communications gap between the state and its young people extends to another issue involving voting: The easiest ways to update a registration is with an online form, but it's only available to people with a license or ID.

Several states offer voters online options that don't require such documents. Minnesota uses Social Security numbers to confirm IDs, for example, while Delaware and Missouri accept signatures from touch-screen devices.

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Election security efforts should be expanded to cover the vendors who provide the equipment and other systems used to record and count votes, according to a new report by the Brennan Center for Justice. Here a Miami-Dade County election worker checks voting machines for accuracy.

Election equipment vendors should face more security oversight, report argues

Efforts to fend off election hackers in 2020 and beyond have revolved around protecting ballot equipment and the databases of registered voters. Little attention has been focused on the vendors and their employees.

But the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice is proposing that the vendors who make election equipment and related systems be subjected to heightened oversight and vetting, much like defense contractors or others involved in national security.

"There is almost no federal regulation of the vendors that design and maintain the systems that allow us to determine who can vote, how they vote, or how their votes are counted and reported," according to a new report from the nonpartisan policy institute.

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