OH at center of national fight over registered voter rights

OH at center of national fight over registered voter rights

Every state does so, in order to ensure that would-be fraudulent voters can not use the identities of people who have died or moved. "The reason they're purging them is they want to protect the voter roll from people that have moved, and they're voting in the wrong district", he said. But he faced pointed questions from liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Neither Justice Clarence Thomas nor Justice Neil M. Gorsuch asked any questions during oral arguments in the case, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a voting rights case Wednesday brought on by a Navy veteran and software engineer who is challenging the system OH uses to remove voters from a database, NBC News reported.

"It's absolutely voter suppression", Helle, mayor of Oak Harbor, Ohio, and a Democrat in a state run by Republicans, says.

Here is how Ohio's voter purge now works: through a practice known as Supplemental Process, the Ohio County Board of Elections uses a registered voter's failure to vote in a single election as evidence that the voter has moved. "That's why the Court of Appeals struck down Ohio's voter purges, and the Supreme Court now has a chance to do the same".

"When I was in the Army, I didn't have time to worry about voting at home or absentee ballots, anything of that sort because I was an airborne infantryman, a parachutist, war fighter", Helle said.

In its July brief, OH argued that it removes voters from the rolls only when they do not respond to confirmation notices.

WASHINGTON ― Supreme Court justices appeared divided on Wednesday over whether an OH process for removing people from the voter rolls was a violation of federal law. States can use change-of-address forms filed with the U.S. Postal Service, as well as government tax records, census lists and motor-vehicle department databases, the challengers say.

"All of these impediments result in large numbers of people not voting in certain parts of the state", she said. The election boards will then send out notices to those ineligible to vote. The state was sued after the 2015 elections, when those who had not voted since Barack Obama's dramatic victory in 2008 discovered they no longer were registered.

Late past year, President Donald Trump's administration reversed the government's position on a voter roll case before the U.S. Supreme Court and is now backing Ohio's method for purging voters.




In its brief to the court, the Solicitor General's office said it switched positions after the change in administrations and reevaluated the statute. "Seems quite unusual that your office would change its position so dramatically", Sotomayor said. "Literally every other state uses a different, and more voter-protective, practice".

"Voting is the foundation of our democracy, and it is much too important to treat as a "use it or lose it" right", lawyer Stuart Naifeh of Demos told Reuters.

As protesters raised their voices outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was inside, arguing in favor of the way the state maintains its list of registered voters.

The Supreme Court's ruling, due by the end of June, could affect the ability to vote for thousands of people ahead of November's congressional elections.

"There might be surveys about how many people throw everything in the wastebasket", Breyer said. A process in which a state began a purging process based on returned undeliverable mail in addition to not voting for a period of three our four years would be more acceptable, he conceded, because the undeliverable mailing would provide the state with some kind of concrete evidence someone may have moved. Noting the low return rate on mailed warnings, he said, "you're going to vastly over-purge people". Breyer asked the attorney opposing the state's laws. He is one of more than two million voters removed from Ohio's voter registration lists since 2011 when John Husted became secretary of state. "We should be working to make voting easier, not more hard, for Americans that want to participate in the electoral process".

The policy was blocked by a federal district court sitting in OH in April 2016 for violating the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

"Among those, OH is the most aggressive".

The Trump administration filed a brief in support of the OH "use it or lose it" voting policy a year ago in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, which will be heard in the nation's top court on Wednesday.

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