Beyond the prohibition on removing voters because they failed to vote, the law calls on states to keep accurate rolls and allows removal when a person fails to respond to a request to confirm registration and then fails to vote in two federal elections.
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.
The case, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, was taken to the high court after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of OH resident Larry Harmon, who'd been removed from the state's registered voters list. 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.
The five justices who typically make up the conservative majority on the court backed the decision while the four liberal justices dissented.
Six states have similar laws, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. "In Oregon, we believe that a registered voter should not lose their voting rights exclusively because they haven't participated recently". Apparently I'm getting better at this Supreme Court prediction stuff! In their 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court determined that OH was in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Currently Congress, the Justice Department, and a big majority of states are under the control of a Republican Party that has all but abandoned any interest in vindicating voting rights. Judge Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, said those backing Harmon were doing so based on policy preferences, not the law. And of course, they're all red states. Voting rights activists rallied to oppose voter roll purges as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Husted v.
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The supplemental process enables states to purge names from federal voting rolls after individuals don't vote within a two year period and also fail to respond to a notice from the government over the next four years.
Even if someone accidentally removes your name from the rolls, you can restore it at your polling place, thanks to the state's same-day registration law. "This decision is validation of Ohio's efforts to clean up the voter rolls and now with the blessing nation's highest court, it can serve as a model for other states to use".
Reminder: In #Husted, the Department of Justice under Jeff Sessions chose to abandon its longstanding position that the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act prohibit techniques like Ohio's voter purge. All four of the Court's Democrats joined a dissenting opinion by Justice Stephen Breyer, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a separate dissent.
OH sends a notice after a voter skips a single federal election cycle.
That makes Ohio's system "a bit stricter", said Wanda Murren, director of communications for the Pennsylvania Department of State.
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OH has sent more than 3 million notices of address confirmation since 2011, when Husted became Secretary of State.
Justice Breyer wrote a dissent that, as Justice Alito points out, has lots to do with his disagreement with Congress about the wisdom of reliance on the returning a card, and little to do with the law Congress passed. OH sent him a notice, but Harmon said he does not remember receiving it.
- The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) June 11, 2018 This case is a stark reminder that the Trump administration wants to turn back the clock on voting rights.
The case came about when Larry Harmon challenged the process arguing that he was removed from the rolls even though he had not moved, but rather had opted not to vote in 2009 and 2010.
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