High Court Upholds Ohio’s Right to Clean Voter Rolls

High Court Upholds Ohio’s Right to Clean Voter Rolls

High Court Upholds Ohio’s Right to Clean Voter Rolls

By a vote of 5-4, the justices agreed that the practice under question - which cancels the registration of voters who do not go to the polls and who then fail to respond to a notice - does not violate federal laws governing voter registration. Voters are not notified when their registration is removed. The court's four liberal justices dissented.

Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, said other states could follow Ohio's lead. "In my view, Ohio's program does just that".

Taken as a whole, this welter of provisions could plausibly be read in the way Justice Samuel Alito does on behalf of the Courts' Republicans - as an instruction manual to carry out the sort of voter purge that OH used in this case.

But the Supreme Court majority said the appeals court was wrong because Ohio's process does not conflict with federal directives.

"Today's decision is a victory for election integrity, and a defeat for those who use the federal court system to make election law across the country", Husted said.

The court's dissenters said OH violates a prohibition in federal law against removing voters simply because they are exercising their right not to vote.

"Today's decision forces these communities and their allies to be even more proactive and vigilant in holding their States accountable and working to dismantle the obstacles they face in exercising the fundamental right to vote", she wrote. Liberal groups and minority advocates said it gave states a green light to impose procedures that studies have shown tend to impact urban areas. Voting rights activists rallied to oppose voter roll purges as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Husted v.

On Friday, a federal judge ruled against an IN law passed earlier this year that would have canceled registrations for anyone whose name was flagged by the Crosscheck program, an interstate compact by which states cross-reference their voter lists against each other to weed out those who might be registered IN multiple states. If they fail to respond to the warning and do not vote within the next four years, their name will be removed from the voting register.


Ohio's rules, which use voter inactivity to trigger a process that can lead to their removal from the voter rolls, are similar to those of states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Georgia.

Alito read the National Voter Registration Act in conjunction with the Help America Vote Act.

Earlier this year I was pondering whether Ohio's voter removal law was legal.

In a dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer said the 1993 law prohibits removing someone from voting rolls "by reason of the person's failure to vote".

An individual who doesn't vote for two years is mailed a notice asking him to confirm his registration.

Harmon was dropped for failing to cast a ballot in the 2012 presidential election. OH is the only one that starts the removal process after failing to vote in only one election, the center said.

The case centered around Larry Harmon, an OH resident who sat out the 2012 presidential election, as well as the 2010 and midterm elections, but wanted to vote on a ballot initiative concerning whether to legalize marijuana. The process is triggered by a failure to vote.

The U.S. Justice Department had switched its position in the case to support Ohio.

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