Voting rights groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging what they described as a massive voter purge in Ohio. The lawsuit accuses the state of violating the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 — also known as the “Motor Voter” law — by taking tens of thousand of voters off the registration rolls because they did not participate in past elections. “As a result of these violations, numerous Ohioans have been disenfranchised in recent elections, and many more face the threat of disenfranchisement in the 2016 Presidential Election and future elections,” the complaint said. The lawsuit is being brought by the progressive public policy organization Demos and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, who are representing a state chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an African-American labor group, and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. It was filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio.
According to the complaint, Ohio operates two separate systems for removing voters from its registration rolls. The first, the “National Change of Address” Process, removes voters based on change of addresses filed with the U.S. Postal Service. While the complaint alleges some flaws in how Ohio is conducting that process, the lawsuit mainly focuses on what it is known as the Supplemental Process, which kicks in when a voter doesn’t vote in a series of elections.
Under that system, Ohio removes from the rolls any voter who does not participate in three federal elections in a row. The state sends voters who sit out those elections a notice requesting they confirm that they are still eligible to vote in the jurisdiction in which they registered.
However, the lawsuit alleges that the form, which is also used in the “National Change of Address” Process, is confusing. Among other things, the complaint says that the form requires the voters to provide basically all the same information needed to initially register. It also requires voters to provide proof of identity to remain registered, which is not mandated by the NVRA or Ohio law for a voter’s initial registration. It also does not tell voters that they can re-register online, nor does it provide a due date for the confirmation, according to the complaint. The complaint also says the form fails to explicitly tell voters that they will be removed from the rolls if they don’t return it.
Full Article: New Lawsuit Challenges Alleged Voter Purge In Ohio.