Monday, 19 November, 2018

Supreme Court rules in favor of OH 'voter purge'

Protestors gathered outside the Supreme Court in January to show opposition to Ohio's policy for purging voter Protestors gathered outside the Supreme Court in January to show opposition to Ohio's policy for purging voter
Ellis Copeland | 11 June, 2018, 23:48

Ohio's rules, which use voter inactivity to trigger a process that can lead to their removal from the voter rolls, are similar to those of states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Georgia.

The U.S. Supreme Court gave states more power to purge their voting databases of people who haven't cast ballots recently, upholding an OH system that could become a model for other Republican-controlled states. Samuel Alito delivered the opinion for the conservative majority in Husted v. Philip Randolph Institute that gave the state of OH - famed for its highly partisan election administration regime - great leeway in designing a purge of voter rolls after narrowly construing some confusing language in the federal motor-voter legislation (officially the National Voter Registration Act of 1993) that was created to expand voter participation.

"A state violates the failure-to-vote clause only if it removes registrants for no reason other than their failure to vote", Justice Samuel Alito, writing the majority opinion, argued.

"The right to vote is not 'use it or lose it, ' Carson said". This term, it faces cases from Wisconsin and Maryland challenging what opponents claim were election maps drawn by state legislators for purely partisan gain. If they don't respond and don't vote in the next two general elections, they are targeted for eventual removal from registration rolls, even if they haven't moved and remain eligible. "In my view, Ohio's program does just that".

Reminder: In #Husted, the Department of Justice under Jeff Sessions made a decision to abandon its longstanding position that the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act prohibit techniques like Ohio's voter purge. The court's decision essentially endorses "the very purging that Congress expressly sought to protect against", Sotomayor wrote.

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

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

"Democracy suffers when laws make it harder for U.S. Citizens to vote".

Husted called the decision "a victory for electoral integrity".

Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would nominate Eric Murphy, the OH lawyer who argued the case on the state's behalf, to a seat on the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A Philip Randolph Institute, a challenge to Ohio's voter roll purges. A three-judge panel on that court had ruled 2-1 that Ohio's practice was illegal.

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