Supreme Court decides case on purging voter registration rolls
12 June, 2018, 02:48 | Author: Carlos George
If the voters don't respond to the mailers, and don't engage in any voter activity - which includes, voting, updating one's voter registration info, or participating in voter petitions - in the next two federal election cycles, they are removed from the rolls. If they do not respond and do not vote over the following four years, they are purged.
Harmon and OH civil rights groups went to court, arguing that Ohio's practice conflicted with two federal voting laws.
Justice Samuel Alito delivered OH the news that it is allowed to purge thousands of stagnant voters from the state registration records. "It does not", Alito said.
Republican President Donald Trump's administration backed OH, reversing the stance taken by Democratic former President Barack Obama's administration against the policy, and welcomed the ruling.
Adams called on other states to follow Ohio's lead. He concluded that the OH system didn't violate the NVRA's failure-to-vote language since the state also sent the written mailers.
Civil rights groups have fought against the voting measure, arguing that it discourages minority turnout.
Democrats have accused Republicans of taking steps at the state level, including laws requiring certain types of government-issued identification, meant to suppress the vote of minorities, poor people and others who generally favour Democratic candidates.
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Under the state law, voters who have not voted in two years are flagged and sent a confirmation notice. Giving the green light to Ohio's purge process could have a ripple effect across the entire country.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, the Democratic candidate for Ohio Secretary of State, said in a statement that she was "deeply disappointed in this ruling" and urged Husted to "act with restraint".
Twelve states, generally led by Democrats, filed a brief supporting Mr. Harmon. States can remove only someone who requests it, moves, dies, is convicted of a felony, or becomes mentally "incapacitated".
But in recent years, some purges have been viewed through a more partisan lens. However, according to the National Voter Registration Act, the act of not voting is not a legal reason for removal. Alabama put 340,000 voters on its inactive list the same year.
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. When he showed up at the polls in 2015 he was told his registration had been canceled. In any case, I'm sticking with my original view: the OH law pushes right to the edge of what's legal under federal law, but it doesn't go beyond.
The ACLU took the state to court and had the Sixth Circuit rule that the state's process of cleaning the voter rolls violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which prohibits states from purging names from the voter registration list exclusively because of the failure to vote and requires the state to notify the individual of the potential change in status before rendering him or her inactive.
The decision said that as long as the trigger for sending voter removal notices is "uniform, nondiscriminatory, and in compliance with the Voting Rights Act". Under the Trump administration, it flipped sides to support Ohio's unnecessary restrictions on the right to vote. "Election administrators have to strike a balance between making sure that the rolls are as clean as possible, because everyone benefits from clean rolls, and removing eligible voters". Since 2013, eight states, both red and blue, have left the Crosscheck program.
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