But if OH wants to clean up its voter lists, why start pursuing inactive voters after just two years instead of allowing at least two consecutive missed federal elections (as is done in North Carolina and other states) which better culls people without being aggressively punitive? If someone doesn’t respond and then doesn’t vote during the next four years, the state removes the person.
The federal Motor Voter Act bars states from canceling registrations for inactivity. OH is the only one that starts the removal process after failing to vote in only one election, the center said. But partisan fights over ballot access are playing out across the country.
The U.S. Justice Department had switched its position in the case to support Ohio.
What’s more, they said, they anxious that the ruling now gives other states a blueprint from which to conduct their own voter purges.
OH has sent more than 3 million notices of address confirmation since 2011, when Husted became Secretary of State.
Kathleen Clyde says she’d do away with the state’s practice of purging inactive voters if elected secretary of state in November.
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.
No other Justice joined Thomas’ opinion, perhaps because the question it raised was not necessary to uphold Ohio’s rule. Seventeen states, generally Republican, filed a brief on the other side. If a voter returns the notice through prepaid mail, or responds online, the information is updated.
“Despite today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, Oregon remains a national leader in protecting voting rights”, Richardson said in a statement.
Voter purges are not uncommon, even in states led by Democrats. Franklin Circuit Judge Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Grayson and the State Board of Elections illegally removed more than 8,100 Kentucky voters from the rolls. Dale Ho, director of the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) predicted dire results for voting rights. Alabama put 340,000 voters on its inactive list the same year. He acknowledged the law bars states from purging voters only because they failed to return the card. Supreme Court said Monday the state of OH can continue its controversial practice of purging names from its voter rolls. But it’s possible the number is much greater because Ohio’s 88 counties did not uniformly remove voters or report that action. “We have laws in place to purge voters when they become ineligible”, Clyde said in an interview.
The State of OH has a process in place that removes voters from registration if they have failed to vote or respond to a single address confirmation notice over a certain period of time.
Sotomayor said Monday’s decision would force minority and low-income voters to be “more proactive and vigilant” in holding onto their voting rights. The challengers called Ohio’s policy the most aggressive.
Rick Hasen, an election law expert at UC-Irvine, told NBC: “You’ll see more red states making it easier to drop people from the voter registration rolls”.