Supreme Court Upholds Ohio's Purge of Voting Rolls

Supreme Court decision upholds Ohio’s voter-purge law

Supreme Court decision upholds Ohio’s voter-purge law

A Philip Randolph Institute, a challenge to Ohio's voter roll purges.

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said the court was not deciding whether Ohio's policy "is the ideal method for keeping its voting rolls up to date". Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said that "today's decision empowers OH to further strip away the right to vote for thousands of Ohioans, threatening the integrity of our state's election process".

The ruling could be a major victory for Republicans, who tend to benefit from lower voter turnout, and a stinging loss for Democrats, who do best in high-turnout elections. Many states over the decades had erected to voting, sometimes targeting black voters. Voting rights activists rallied to oppose voter roll purges as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Husted v.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) described the court ruling as a "setback for voting rights".

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who's running as the Republican candidate for governor, issued a statement applauding the Supreme Court's decision for showing "that Ohio was following federal law in maintaining accurate voter rolls".

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A 2016 Reuters analysis found roughly twice the rate of voter purging in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods in Ohio's three largest counties as in Republican-leaning neighborhoods.

The case arose when U.S. Navy veteran Larry Harmon went to his local polling place in OH to vote in 2015.

"If states take today's decision as a sign that they can be even more reckless and kick eligible voters off the rolls, we will fight back in the courts, the legislatures and with our community partners across the country", Naifeh said.

It is the kind of 5-4 decision that shows why it mattered that Mitch McConnell kept Merrick Garland off the Supreme Court so that GOP appointee Neil Gorsuch was able to occupy Antonin Scalia's seat. Notices are sent to voters whose registration is flagged. And in a scathing separate dissent, Justice Sotomayor reminded the Court that it was perverting the entire goal of the motor-voter law by construing it as permissive toward voter purges - particularly those which, like Ohio's, disproportionately affects minority voters, which the same law prohibits.

The challengers said there are six states that remove voters from their registration lists for failure to vote, but that OH is the most aggressive. At least twelve other conservative states said they would follow Ohio's lead if it prevailed, NBC reports. In the appeals court, the Obama administration filed a brief supporting Mr. Harmon.

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