The ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday that upheld the OH law that allows voters to be purged from the rolls if they haven't cast ballots in six years angered Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. If the statute explicitly articulates that states should purge voters who are caught up in a "notify, wait, and purge" regime, why would the statute also include the words "except that no registrant may be removed exclusively by reason of a failure to vote" in the very same sentence that calls for such purges unless these words were meant to limit the scope of the purges? There have been no reported cases of OH voters who've moved elsewhere and attempted to vote twice.
The Trump administration defended the OH policy, a reversal from the Obama years, when the Justice Department challenged it in court.
OH sends notices to registered voters who have not voted in a two-year period.
Alito wrote the majority opinion and even he didn't sound that thrilled with the OH law. Apparently I'm getting better at this Supreme Court prediction stuff! By a 5-4 vote, the Court upheld Ohio's policy of removing ineligible and outdated voters from it rolls. "The only question before us is whether it violates federal law", wrote Samuel Alito, referring to the 1993 Voter Registration Act. If there was a clearly, solidly established presumption in favor of the right to vote and a difficult set of obstacles for would-be vote suppressors to overcome, decisions like this would be hard to write.
In his own statement, Husted said he hoped the ruling would give other states a path toward purging duplicate or obsolete registrations. An appellate court sided with the purged voters, but now the Supreme Court has overturned that ruling.
In a related development, the State Board of Elections announced Monday afternoon they had reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and conservative legal group Judicial Watch, regarding Kentucky's maintenance of voter rolls. Those who don't respond and then don't vote in the next four years are kicked off the rolls.
Husted concerns a process OH uses to identify voters who may have changed addresses, and to purge them from the voter rolls. But civil rights groups decried the decision, saying the Supreme Court should make it easier for people to vote rather than allowing states to put up roadblocks.
The case was Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute.
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Justice Stephen Breyer issued a dissenting opinion, which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan - the other members on the court's liberal wing - joined.
OH voters who do not return the card and fail to vote in any election for four more years are presumed to have moved and are removed from the rolls, Alito wrote.
This presented a problem for OH because the state utilizes one of the strictest removal methods in the country, according to NBC News.
The four liberal justices dissented.
Harmon was dropped for failing to cast a ballot in the 2012 presidential election.
Belladona-Carrera says she anxious the ruling will be used by lawmakers in more states to adopt the OH system.
The Trump administration supported Ohio's voter purge. Failing to vote is not allowed as the trigger for notices, he argued.