Ohio voters who haven’t cast a ballot in the past six years could be out of luck if they go back to the polls in November. The state is preparing to purge voter registration rolls of everyone who hasn’t voted since 2010, unless they’ve updated their registration or responded to queries seeking to confirm their address. Opponents of the annual purge went to court Wednesday in Cincinnati to stop it, arguing it could violate the rights of tens of thousands of Ohioans who should be eligible to vote. As always in an election year, the stakes are especially high in Ohio. The swing state could be crucial in a close presidential election this fall, and partisans on both sides are closely watching the case. Adding to the drama is uncertainty over the fate of voters who already have been purged from the rolls, including those who last voted in 2008, the year Barack Obama first won the presidency.
Because huge voter registration drives occurred that year, some Democrats worry their party will be hurt if those voters return to the polls this year only to find they can’t cast a ballot. A Reuters analysis found that as many as 144,000 names were struck from Ohio’s voter rolls in last year’s purge.
“This is a major issue,” said Mike Brickner, a senior policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union in Ohio. “The mere fact that a person has not voted should not be the trigger for removing them from the rolls.”
Full Article: Are you still registered to vote? A court fight might decide.