Supreme Court Gives Green Light To Ohio's Voter Purges

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Ohio could continue to use an aggressive process for removing people from its voting rolls, saying the procedure did not run afoul of federal voter protections.

The decision in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute helps clarify the steps states can take to remove someone from their voter rolls, and it could encourage them to be more aggressive. The case was brought on behalf of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, a labor and civil rights group, and an eligible Ohio voter the state had removed from its voter rolls. The voter had been living at the same address for about 16 years.

In Ohio, officials send anyone who doesn’t vote for two consecutive years a notice in the mail to determine whether they’ve moved. If someone fails to respond to the notice and then doesn’t vote for four consecutive years, the state removes them from its voter rolls.

Ohio had argued that the process was necessary to make sure its voter rolls were accurate and up to date ― but the challengers said it violated a federal law that prohibits states from canceling someone’s voter registration simply because they haven’t voted. Ohio countered that it canceled registrations not only because of a failure to vote, but also because people didn’t respond to the notice.

Writing the opinion for the five-justice majority, Justice Samuel Alito said that a 2002 law, the Help America Vote Act, amended the National Voter Registration Act and clarified what states could do to remove people from the voting rolls. HAVA, Alito wrote, says a state cannot remove someone from the voting rolls only and because of their failure to vote. What Ohio does, Alito wrote, is permissible because people are removed if they fail to vote and fail to respond to the state mailing.

 Read more at Yahoo News

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