Status of U.S. Supreme Court Consideration of Whether Ohio is Purging Voters Too Frequently

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear Husted v Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, 16-980, later this year, or possibly early next year. All the briefs should be completely filed by September 15, 2017, and then the Court will set a hearing date. The issue is the interpretation of the federal law on voter registration. Ohio interprets it to allow it to purge voters from the registration rolls if they haven’t voted in the last two years. But the Sixth Circuit ruled earlier that Ohio’s interpretation is erroneous, and the purge can’t take place except after four years of non-voting.


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Status of U.S. Supreme Court Consideration of Whether Ohio is Purging Voters Too Frequently — 3 Comments

  1. That description is not really accurate. The logic of the 6th Circuit is so convoluted that you may have got confused.

    Federal statute forbids purging of voters for not voting. However it requires States to maintain accurate voting rolls, and if a voter can not be contacted at their registration address put them on “inactive” status. “inactive” is a misnomer, it simply means that the voter appears to have gone missing or moved. An “inactive” voter may vote, without voting a provisional ballot, and they will become “active” again. Or they may contact election authorities or register at a new address. An inactive voter who misses two federal elections may be purged (if a voter showed up for a local election, they would simply have their status changed to active).

    Ohio uses two triggers for investigating whether a voter may have moved. If the voter filed a change-of-address with the the USPS, Ohio sends a forwardable card to the voter. If the voter doesn’t respond they are put on the inactive list. In addition, if a voter has not voted during a two-year period they are sent the forwardable card. Again, if they do not respond they are put on the inactive list.

    The district court sided with Ohio. The 6th Circuit decided on a 2-1 decision with the plaintiffs. The 11th Circuit has upheld a similar Georgia statute.

    The 6th Circuit is claiming that Ohio is purging because of not voting, rather than purging after failing to make contact with the voter, followed by four years of not voting.

    Congress could always clarify the statute – but that would take action by Congress. But taking action would be so uncongressional, it simply is not done.

  2. How did the 2002 HAVA law happen ???

    — after the infamous Bush v Gore stuff in FL in 2000

    — due to ALL 3 branches of the FL regime being full of MORONS.

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