A Cleveland woman canceled her voter registration after her stalker tracked down her whereabouts through her voting records.
The victim, who newsnet5.com is calling “Natalie,” had to move four times after a stalker repeatedly used her public records to obtain her new address and phone number.
Natalie said the woman used to date her current boyfriend and started harassing her four years ago.
“It started with her seeing me at my boyfriends house and following me,” Natalie said.
The stalker allegedly used Natalie’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles, postal change of address, police reports and voting records to keep tabs on her whereabouts as she moved.
Natalie said the woman started by taking pictures of the house and then later pictures of her two children.
“She had my son’s pictures as her profile picture on Facebook,” said Natalie, who soon filed a protective order.
Newsnet5.com discovered that Natalie is one of many domestic violence and stalking victims who have not registered to vote out of fear that their abusers will be able to track them down.
Linda Johanek, CEO of the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center works with many of those victims.
Johanek explained that 36 states have victim address confidentiality programs, but Ohio does not.
“This is one in which were behind there are only a handful of state that don’t have this in place and Ohio is one,” she said.
A bill that would provide such protections was passed in the Ohio House in January. But since that time it has been stalled in the Senate.
“I mean it’s ridiculous,” Natalie said about the legislation’s status. “Like why? This is one of those no brainers.”
Committee members met Tuesday to discuss possible amendments. Victim advocates are hopeful that they will schedule a vote in time for victims like Natalie to register for the November election.