Supreme Court Upholds Ohio Rules for Canceling Voter Registration


The justices are rejecting, by a 5-4 vote Monday, arguments that the practice violates a federal law meant to increase the ranks of registered voters.

Voters who then fail to respond to the notice and fail to vote within the next two years are removed from the rolls. If they do not respond and do not vote over the following four years, they are purged.

The court of appeals that struck down Ohio's voter purge process answered this question by looking to how OH determined which voters should be eligible for a purge in the first place.

At least a dozen other politically conservative states said they would adopt a similar practice if OH prevailed, as a way of keeping their voter registration lists accurate and up to date. Once inactive, a voter can still vote, simply by showing up on election day or requesting a mail ballot. Alito said OH skirts that prohibition by sending voters the postcard, to which they can respond before their registrations are canceled.

This presented a problem for OH because the state utilizes one of the strictest removal methods in the country, according to NBC News.

Half a dozen other states have similar practices.

Each state has a process for removing voters believed to have moved from its registration lists.

The challengers, represented by liberal advocacy group Demos along with the American Civil Liberties Union, sued Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted in 2016 to end the policy.

"This decision will fuel the fire of voter suppressors across the country who want to make sure their chosen candidates win re-election - no matter what the voters say", Carson added.

The ACLU's Dale Ho said the ruling "is not a green light to engage in wholesale purges of eligible voters without notice".

In his own statement, Husted said he hoped the ruling would give other states a path toward purging duplicate or obsolete registrations.

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In a 5-4 decision, with the more conservative justices voting in the majority, the court said Ohio's method did not violate federal law, the central question in the case.

Twelve states, generally led by Democrats, filed a brief supporting Mr. Harmon.

"Today's decision could provide a road map to other states to follow Ohio's lead and to adopt aggressive rules for culling their voter rolls going forward, even with respect to folks who are still living in OH and legally eligible to vote", Vladeck said.

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

Florida is one of those 38 states.

The federal law at issue had one provision indicating how states might verify an apparent change of address by return-postage-paid notice to voters, and another banning a purge on the basis of failure to 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.

Failing to vote can lead to getting knocked off voter registration rolls, a divided Supreme Court ruled Monday in a decision that likely will help Republicans and harm Democrats.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton noted on a video posted Monday that it was his organization's lawsuit that prompted OH to get more aggressive in purging ineligible voters in the first place. Under the Trump administration, it flipped sides to support Ohio's unnecessary restrictions on the right to vote. Thomas noted that even if the respondents were correct about their statutory interpretation, such a statute preventing states from cleaning its voter rolls couldn't be constitutional. Since 2013, eight states, both red and blue, have left the Crosscheck program.

Many states over the decades had erected barriers to voting, sometimes targeting black voters.

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

Husted said that OH wants to "make it easy to vote and hard to cheat". That work can not be done less than 90 days before a federal election. "We have to expand our efforts beyond the court of law and into the court of public opinion".