Supreme Court gives OK to states to clean voting rolls

OH election officials send notices to anyone who fails to cast a ballot during a two-year period. If they fail to respond and go on to not vote for four more years they are dropped from the rolls.

The plaintiffs in the case, Husted v A. Philip Randolph Institute, challenged the OH law arguing it violated the National Voter Registration Act. When registering to vote, they need to send a copy of either their current driver's license, state ID, passport or birth certificate with your paper form.

Alito said that the two factors show that OH "does not strike any registrant exclusively by reason of the failure to vote".

The ruling prompted Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson to reiterate the state's commitment to voter access.

He said that because voters are unlikely to return a card from the government asking them to re-up their voting status - it is just as likely to be mistaken for junk mail, he said - Ohio's reliance on unreturned cards is misplaced.

What's more, they said, they anxious that the ruling now gives other states a blueprint from which to conduct their own voter purges.

Half a dozen other states have similar practices.

OH has used voters' inactivity to trigger the removal process since 1994, although groups representing voters did not sue the Republican secretary of state, Jon Husted, until 2016. "This is a voter suppression campaign run out of the White House by President Trump, who has actively worked to undermine faith in American democracy". Voting rights activists rallied to oppose voter roll purges as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Husted v. Liberal groups and minority advocates said it gave states a green light to impose procedures that studies have shown tend to impact urban areas. A handful of other states also use voters' inactivity to trigger processes that could lead to their removal from the voting rolls.

Twelve states, generally led by Democrats, filed a brief supporting Mr. Harmon. Critics had said the process is the harshest in the nation because of how quickly voters are removed from the rolls.

But in recent years, some purges have been viewed through a more partisan lens.

It also means that the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which was created to encourage greater participation in our democracy, has been significantly weakened.

If voters do not reply to the mailing, they are put on an inactive roll, but are still allowed to vote. He acknowledged the law bars states from purging voters only because they failed to return the card. The U.S. Court of Appeals blocked the state law, ruling that it violates a 1993 national voter registration law that says voters can't be removed from voting simply because they didn't vote. The judge said IN, where 481,000 people have seen their registrations canceled since 2014, must contact voters to give them an opportunity to remain active.

"In all of these cases, in whatever state they're filed in, the one thing that seems to be missing are the names of actual victims, people who weren't actually able to vote", said Fund, noting that the OH residents reported on as victims of the new law have not voted in over a decade and ignored repeated efforts by the government to verify their status. How does Alaska handle voters who don't vote for multiple elections? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in 2016 said no, which restored the votes of 7,515 Ohioans.

"We are now only 5 months from our next federal election and any rush now to remove a backlog of up to 589,000 voters that he has marked for purging will be extremely disruptive and unfair to OH voters", Clyde wrote.

Many states over the decades had erected barriers to voting, sometimes targeting black voters. If they do not have a valid Alaska driver's license or state ID, or information cannot be validated they can register using a paper registration form. What's more, he added, the state also keeps voters on the rolls if they take nonvoting actions like filling out a voter registration form or signing a petition.

Tennessee has eliminated the practice of purging voters based on a lapse in voting history.

Monday's Supreme Court opinion did not deal with whatever alleged discriminatory effect Ohio's purge protocol had.

30 days prior to Election Day per AS 15.05.010, AS 15.07.070 and AS 15.25.060. "The only question before us", Alito made clear, is whether the practice "violates federal law".

Vanessa Coleman

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