Your right to vote is not 'use it or lose it'

  • Your right to vote is not 'use it or lose it'

Your right to vote is not 'use it or lose it'

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.

If the Supreme Court greenlights Ohio's use of non-voting to trigger its purge protocol, it could lead to other states adopting the process or embolden PILF to step up its browbeating of local election officials into changing their practices. Ohio's purges have been benefited Republicans.

In July, Secretary of State Jon Husted asked the high court to take up the case.

Helle, 31, describes himself as a "red-state Democrat" and did not vote for President Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. So the ramifications of that state's voting laws are huge and would be huge even if the issue was specific to that state.

"This is about government trying to choose who should get to vote".

"There are strong arguments on both sides", Alito said, suggesting his decision will come down to interpreting the language of the statute.

The Supreme Court is diving into state efforts to pare their voting rolls by targeting people who haven't voted in a while. Who is being harmed?

The attorney representing the law's challengers, Paul M. Smith, argued that 70 percent of voters disregard the notices along with other junk mail so the system comes up with many "false positives", unfairly ensnaring many people who haven't moved.

Senator Rob Portman's office said Portman didn't have anything to say about the case and likely would not until after the court issues a ruling.

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Joseph Helle was expecting a different sort of reception when he returned home from Army tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and showed up to vote in his small OH town near Lake Erie.

Opposing Ohio will be the American Civil Liberties Union, which initially brought suit against Ohio. The state said it only uses the disputed process after first comparing its voter lists with a USA postal service list of people who have reported a change of address. That's a pretty weird assumption.

Murphy argued that failing to vote is not the sole basis for removing voters from Ohio's rolls, and that voters must ignore notices they're sent before they're dropped. It just can't be the case that all of these people have moved.

The opponents say a 1992 federal law prohibits using voting inactivity to trigger purges and that OH removes registered voters who are still eligible to cast their ballots.

A decision upholding Ohio's law would pave the way for more aggressive vote purging efforts in OH and other states, while the law's elimination would "send a strong signal that the federal government and the National Voter Registration Act place important limits on what states can and can't do with their voter rolls", says Dale Ho, who heads the American Civil Liberties Union's Voting Rights Project.

USA Today has a story about an OH man whose name was removed from the rolls.

Hee served tours of duty in Iraq in 2006-2007 during Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Afghanistan in 2009 during Operation Enduring Freedom. "We are fighting in every state to protect and expand the right to vote".

If, as the ACLU asserts, 7,500 would-be voters were turned away in November 2016 because their registrations had been invalidated, that is unfortunate. That's actually hard to say, particularly since Paul Smith did a creditable job of answering Breyer's concerns by showing evidence that most voters receiving notices like those mailed out by OH just toss them in the trash, making response or nonresponse irrelevant to the voter's actual residence. He may have a more sympathetic story.

A soldier may have a better excuse than civilians for not voting. But even people whose lack of participation can be attributed to apathy should be allowed to cast a ballot if they're still eligible.