Sen. Sherrod Brown has reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision supporting the Ohio secretary of state’s policy of purging inactive voters from the rolls with a bill aimed at stopping the practice. Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., announced Wednesday they are introducing a bill to amend the National Voter Registration Act to clarify that a state may not use someone’s failure to vote or respond to a state notice as a reason to remove them from active voter rolls. The bill is a direct reaction the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute case, in which the high court ruled that states may remove registered voters from rolls if they do not vote in multiple federal elections or if they don’t return a mailed address confirmation form. Brown is a former Ohio secretary of state, while Klobuchar is the top Democrat on the Senate Rules Committee, which has oversight jurisdiction over federal elections.
“This bill will restore the rights of voters and uphold the integrity of our election process,” Brown said in a statement, adding “We need to make it easier, not harder, for Ohioans to vote and make their voices heard.”
Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, the lieutenant governor running mate to Attorney General Mike DeWine, announced shortly after the court decision that no voters will be purged prior to the Nov. 6 statewide election.