Ohio's move to toss inactive voters from rolls goes to Supreme court

Ohio's move to toss inactive voters from rolls goes to Supreme court

The Supreme Court is to hear arguments today in the disputed practice. "And it's not like me to flaunt my military service by any means, but to be a veteran, go serve my country for so long, to come home and be told that I can not exercise one of the fundamental rights that I went and defended is ridiculous".

According to The Nation, from 2011 to 2016, OH - a state with more than 11 million residents - purged 840,000 voters from its voter rolls for such voting inactivity.

OH has a controversial practice of removing voters from the rolls who have not cast ballots in years, and an investigation by the Cincinnati Enquirer/USA Today Network found the practice of deleting and tracking voters was not uniform across Ohio's 88 counties.

January is shaping up to be a big month for Republican vote suppressors-and not in a good way for anyone who believes American politics benefit when more people vote. A federal court just ended a almost four-decade-old ban on caging, and one of the GOP's notorious vote suppressors in North Carolina has been again nominated for a federal judgeship in that state.

"People who only vote in presidential elections will be purged if they miss a single election", said Stuart Naifeh, senior counsel at Demos.

A decision upholding Ohio's law would pave the way for more aggressive vote purging efforts in OH and other states, while the law's elimination would "send a strong signal that the federal government and the National Voter Registration Act place important limits on what states can and can't do with their voter rolls", says Dale Ho, who heads the American Civil Liberties Union's Voting Rights Project.

If you live in OH, your failure to vote - for whatever reason - for two years would have triggered a process that could have resulted in your being purged from the state's voter rolls. In the last USA presidential election, Helle said he did not vote for a presidential candidate. Even though a federal district court has twice found that the law was motivated by intentional discrimination, the Sessions Justice Department abandoned that claim. When those citizens showed up to vote, they'd be told they could not; they had to re-register and could vote until the next election.

"When I was in the Army, I didn't have time to worry about voting at home or absentee ballots, anything of that sort because I was an airborne infantryman, a parachutist, war fighter", Helle said.

"That's part of the free-speech argument to me", he said. And when OH sends out mailings to voters asking them to confirm whether or not they've moved, about 80 percent of those who are sent these mailings never respond to them. However, federal laws such as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) prohibit states from removing voters exclusively for voting inactivity.

"The right to vote is as important as the right not to vote", Helle says.


The justices will hear arguments in Republican-governed Ohio's appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked its policy of erasing from voter registration lists people who do not regularly cast a ballot. Voting rights advocates challenged the new scheme in court, and the Supreme Court is now taking it up after an appeals court ruled against Ohio.

"Helle, now 31 and the mayor of tiny Oak Harbor (pop. 2,759), had become a casualty in Ohio's effort to maintain accurate voter registration rolls". A dozen mainly Democratic states also want the Supreme Court to declare that Ohio's system violates federal law.

"On the other hand, there are 40-plus states that don't do this, and many of them may start to do this for political reasons", Morrison said.

If the Supreme Court greenlights Ohio's use of non-voting to trigger its purge protocol, it could lead to other states adopting the process or embolden PILF to step up its browbeating of local election officials into changing their practices.

So the state asks people who haven't voted in two years to confirm their eligibility. Because he had not voted in six years and did not return a warning notice, his most basic right was removed.

In the absence of proof that they're dead or that they've registered to vote somewhere else, what, exactly, is the problem with having the names of people on the voting rolls who haven't voted in some time?

Again, we encourage everyone to vote in every election in which they are eligible.

What Husted did was purge legally registered voters ahead of the four-year timetable and blame it on an ambiguity in the NVRA's language.

"The [Secretary of State] needs to do it more precisely and not this wholesale removing of people who will lose their right to vote", he said.

A decision in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, 16-980, is expected by late June.

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