Ohio is among a handful of states where voters can be kicked off voter registration rolls after not voting in three federal elections. During oral arguments on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court appeared split on whether that practice violates federal election laws. Once a registered voter skips two years’ worth of elections, Ohio mails them a confirmation notice and then purges voters who don’t respond and don’t vote for another four years. In 2015 and 2016, Ohio purged 426,781 voters this way.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is running for governor this year, argues that the state’s voter removal policy isn’t based on a history of not voting — it’s based on whether people respond to the mail confirmation request. However, critics point out that the mail request only occurs because the state first seeks out inactive voters.
“It’s comparable to someone saying, ‘it’s not my bullet that killed you, it’s your failure to go to the hospital,” says Allegra Chapman, director of voting and elections at Common Cause, a national voting rights advocacy group that argues the Ohio policy is illegal.
Full Article: In Voter Purging Case, Supreme Court Appears Divided.