US Supreme Court weighs legality of Ohio's voter removal procedure

US Supreme Court weighs legality of Ohio's voter removal procedure

Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether the way OH clears its voter rolls is legal.

The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a case from Ohio. "Maintaining the integrity of the voter rolls is essential to conducting an election with efficiency and integrity", Husted said when the court agreed to hear the case last May.

Indicating he potentially could join the court's conservatives in a ruling upholding Ohio's policy as lawful, Breyer noted that a state needs tools to clean up its voter rolls.

After more than an hour's debate, neither side had a clear majority, largely because Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas - likely to be on Ohio's side - remained silent. The lower courts said that Ohio's voter purge law violates the National Voter Registration Act, better known as the "Motor Voter law". "What we're talking about are the best tools to implement that goal".

In a Supreme Court brief, OH officials said the notices protect the integrity of the voting rolls, as failing to vote suggests that voters may have moved.

In the friend-of-the-court brief, Adams filed supporting OH, he not only defended the process, but suggested that it should be the model elsewhere.

They called Ohio's policy the most aggressive.

OH has a controversial practice of removing voters from the rolls who have not cast ballots in years, and an investigation by the Cincinnati Enquirer/USA Today Network found the practice of deleting and tracking voters was not uniform across Ohio's 88 counties.

Rather, the state argues, it is striking from the rolls those who do not vote for two years, and who fail to confirm their registration at the same address over the next two years.

Helle said he was trying to vote in a special election on a local school levy in August 2011 when poll workers could not find his name and had him cast a provisional ballot.

More news: Gerrit Cole Trade Rumors: Astros, Pirates Talks 'Gaining Momentum'

At the Supreme Court, voting cases often split the court's liberal and conservative justices. "It's evidentiary, it's not ground for removal itself", Alito told the plaintiffs. He says the state's elections system makes it "easy to vote and hard to cheat".

According to Perez, there's a possibility that the Supreme Court will hand down a narrow opinion saying Ohio's process in particular, by starting the process after just one federal election cycle without a vote cast, is too unreliable. OH is one of seven states, along with Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, that purge infrequent voters from registration lists, according to the plaintiffs who sued OH in 2016. But they can do so if voters don't respond to confirmation notices.

"I confess to doing that sometimes", Breyer said of putting mailings in the thrash.

A federal appeals court ruled for the state, concluding that roughly 7,500 OH voters - in a state that's perennially a presidential battleground - were wrongly purged from the list in the 2016 election. His case is now before the US Supreme Court.

Tellingly, four Republican commissioners from Trump's now-defunct commission are involved in legal briefs supporting OH in the case. That practice is called partisan gerrymandering.

A few other states and localities have adopted the use of non-voting to begin their purge protocol - in some places, as the result of settlements prompted by lawsuits that Adams' group, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), brought on behalf of the American Civil Rights Union, on whose board Blackwell sits.

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 favor Democratic candidates.

Voting rights advocates fear that a ruling in favor of Ohio's system will be used by voter fraud alarmists to pressure other states to more aggressively kick voters off the rolls.

Larry Harmon, an OH resident and plaintiff in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, expressed similar reasons for not voting.

Dozens of voting rights activists gathered for a rally outside the courthouse before the arguments, with some holding signs displaying slogans such as "Every vote counts" and "You have no right to take away my right to vote". "Choosing not to vote is as important as choosing to vote".

Related Articles