A federal judge ruled Wednesday that notification forms Ohio sends to voters in its process to remove inactive voters from its rolls are compliant with federal law, dealing another blow to a group challenging the state’s voter purge process. The groups suing Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said all voters the state deleted from its rolls from 1995 through 2016 through a disputed process were actually removed unlawfully because the state’s notices for removal didn’t comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Senior U.S. District Judge George Smith disagreed in an opinion issued Wednesday, largely ruling against the plaintiffs and saying the forms complied with federal law. He struck down arguments from the plaintiffs that said voters weren’t told of the deadlines to respond to the forms and weren’t informed of the consequences of failing to respond.
He wrote, however, that past versions of the forms did not properly tell Ohio residents who moved out of state how they can maintain eligibility to vote, but noted that Husted’s office added the required information to the form in 2016.
Smith ordered the Secretary of State’s Office to continue using the current version of the form or a similar one, and to add information to the office’s website about registering to vote in another state.