What the Supreme Court Voter Purge Ruling Means

Howard TerryJun 12, 2018

The Supreme Court gave OH the green light to remove voters from the state's registration records if they have not voted in at least two years. "The only question before us is whether it violates federal law", wrote Samuel Alito, referring to the 1993 Voter Registration Act.

"This decision will fuel the fire of voter suppressors across the country who want to make sure their chosen candidates win re-election - no matter what the voters say", Carson added.

What's more, they said, they anxious that the ruling now gives other states a blueprint from which to conduct their own voter purges. Georgia and 16 other states filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting Ohio. If the notice is ignored and the voter fails to update a registration over the next four years, the registration is canceled. The challengers called Ohio's policy the most aggressive. Justice Samuel Alito, in an opinion joined by the other four conservatives on the court, wrote that OH had followed the procedure laid out in the NVRA "to the letter".

Earlier this year, a judge ruled that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), whose office created the Crosscheck program, could not demand proof of citizenship beyond what is required under federal law before someone is registered to vote.

Other states have taken steps to erase duplicate voter registrations without imperiling someone's right to vote.

Aside from the fact that I'd like to do away with voter registration entirely, none of this strikes me as either unreasonable or likely to change things significantly.

In a separate dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Congress enacted the voter registration law "against the backdrop of substantial efforts by states to disenfranchise low-income and minority voters".

An analysis by Reuters found the policy favors Republicans in the state's largest metropolitan areas by removing voters from the rolls in Democratic leaning neighborhoods at roughly twice the rate as in Republican neighborhoods.

Opponents of Ohio's voter purge practice said federal law prohibits citizens from being penalized just for the failure to vote.

Conservatives on the Supreme Court on Monday upheld Ohio's method of purging voters from the rolls after they miss elections. The dissenters said it could result in thousands of infrequent voters losing their right to vote.

The Trump administration supported Ohio's voter purge. And five votes is more than four.

"This wrongly decided decision paves the way to mass disenfranchisement in OH and around the country", top House of Representatives Democrat Nancy Pelosi added.

Civil rights groups said the court should be focused on making it easier for people to vote, not allowing states to put up roadblocks to casting ballots.

The case was brought by Larry Harmon, an OH software engineer, who showed up to vote and found his name wasn't on the register.

This presented a problem for OH because the state utilizes one of the strictest removal methods in the country, according to NBC News.

"Leftists opposed to election integrity suffered a big defeat today".

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