voter purge

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Ohio: Supreme Court schedules January oral arguments for Ohio voter purge case | Washington Examiner

The Supreme Court on Friday scheduled oral arguments in a case involving Ohio’s voter registration lists for Jan. 10. The justices in Husted v. A Philip Randolph Institute will look to determine whether Ohio’s maintenance of its voter registration list is lawful, a decision that could have lasting impact on the outcome of future elections. Ohio gives voters who have been inactive for two years a confirmation notice that requires a response. If no response is obtained and the voter remains inactive for four years, Ohio removes the voter from its lists. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and Help America Vote Act of 2002 both prevent states from stripping names off its voter registration rolls because a person is not voting. Read More

Ohio: ACLU’s Ohio director slams voter suppression efforts in Ohio | Athens News

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio’s executive director spoke to a crowd of nearly 100 students, faculty and community members Tuesday about voter suppression in America and Ohio, as well as Ohio University’s controversial “Freedom of Expression” policy. J. Bennett Guess, executive director of the ACLU of Ohio, said during the talk at the Athena Cinema that Ohio Secretary of State John Husted has been engaged actively in purging people from the voter rolls in Ohio, an effort that Guess contends disproportionately impacts economically disadvantaged people of color (who typically vote Democratic). Read More

Indiana: Lawsuit: Secretary of State’s office broke election law | Associated Press

A government watchdog group is suing Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, accusing her office of allowing voters to be illegally purged from the state’s voting roles. Common Cause Indiana is asking a federal judge to put a stop to what it calls “discriminatory and illegal” practices the Republican secretary of state’s office adopted in the wake of a new state law that went into effect in July. Lawson’s general counsel has dismissed the allegations as “baseless.” At issue is how the election division in Lawson’s office allows local officials to remove voters from their rolls if it is believed that they have moved to another state. Common Cause says the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 allows voters to be removed only if they have confirmed in writing that they have moved, or if they fail to respond to a written notice and do not cast a ballot for at least two general election cycles. But Lawson’s office is allowing elections officials to purge registered voters if they show up as recently registered in another state in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. Read More

Indiana: State Sued Over Its Aggressive New Voter Purge Program | Mother Jones

A lawsuit is seeking to block an aggressive new effort by the state of Indiana to purge voters from its rolls. If it succeeds, it would deter other states from following suit. But if it fails, these states could be emboldened to begin purging more voters—and particularly minority voters. Indiana is one of 30 states that participate in Crosscheck, a program administered by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. A Republican known for pursuing policies that make it harder to register to vote and cast a ballot, Kobach is the vice chair of President Donald Trump’s controversial election fraud commission, and he seems eager to nationalize his controversial priorities such as Crosscheck. The program compares registration lists for participating states and alerts states if registrations in two states appear to match, suggesting that someone might have moved and neglected to cancel his or her earlier voter registration. Because it compares only first names, last names, and birthdates, it generates a high rate of false positives—one study found that its error rate is more than 99 percent—and has prompted some states, including Florida, to withdraw from the program.  Read More

Indiana: Secretary of State Gets Sued Again for Purging Voter Rolls | Stateline

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, a Republican, is facing another lawsuit over the state’s process for removing voters from registration lists. Voting rights group Common Cause said the state’s policy violates federal voting law by immediately removing voters from rolls if they are suspected of having moved away. Federal election law requires election officials to wait two federal election cycles before removing voters who did not respond to confirmation notices. Read More

Ohio: Supreme Court tackles Ohio voter purge efforts | McClatchy

After tackling partisan gerrymandering in October, the U.S. Supreme Court will take on the controversial issue of voter purges in a November case that could have major implications for the 2018 mid-term elections. Scheduled for oral argument on Nov. 8, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute will determine whether failure to cast a ballot in recent elections, or “voter inactivity,” can lawfully trigger efforts to remove a person from the voter registration rolls. Critics say the purge policy used by Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and disproportionately impacts black, Hispanic and poor voters who traditionally support Democrats. Republicans argue that fraud by ineligible voters can occur if people who die or move away aren’t regularly identified and cleared from the registration rolls as the NVRA requires. Read More

New York: Voter registration purge lawsuit settled by NYC Board of Elections, plaintiffs say | am New York

The city Board of Elections has settled a lawsuit over its illegal purging of over 200,000 voter registrations prior to the 2016 primary elections, the New York attorney general said Wednesday. The good government group Common Cause New York sued the BOE in November 2016 after hundreds of voters, including many in Brooklyn, arrived at the polls on April 19, 2016, and were told they were no longer registered. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office and the Justice Department later joined the lawsuit. Read More

New York: City Board of Elections Admits It Broke the Law, Accepts Reforms | WNYC

The New York City Board of Elections is admitting it broke state and federal law when it improperly removed voters from the rolls ahead of the presidential primary last spring, including more than 117,000 voters in Brooklyn. That’s according to a draft consent decree announced Tuesday— nearly a year after the Board was sued in federal court for violating the National Voter Registration Act and state election law. The Brooklyn voter purge was first reported by WNYC just days before last spring’s primary election. As a part of the settlement, the Board agreed to a series of remedial measures that will be in place at least through the next presidential election, November 2020 — pending court approval. The deal restores the rights of improperly purged voters and establishes a comprehensive plan to prevent illegal voter purges in future elections. Read More

Ohio: He Didn’t Vote in a Few Elections. In the Next One, Ohio Said He Couldn’t. | The New York Times

Larry Harmon, a software engineer who lives near Akron, Ohio, says he is “a firm believer in the right to vote.” But sometimes he stays home on Election Day, on purpose. In 2012, for instance, he was unimpressed by the candidates. He did not vote, he said, because “there isn’t a box on the ballot that says ‘none of the above.’” Three years later, Mr. Harmon did want to vote, against a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. But his name was not on the list at his usual polling place. It turned out that Mr. Harmon’s occasional decisions not to vote had led election officials to strike his name from the voting rolls. On Nov. 8, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether the officials had gone too far in making the franchise a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. Read More

Editorials: Ohio’s illegal voter purges shouldn’t be getting Justice Department’s blessing | Vanita Gupta/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Throughout our history, the country has marched toward a more perfect union by expanding access to the ballot. That progress has helped enshrine our core values of justice, fairness and inclusivity, and slowly strengthened America’s foundation. The first eight months of the Trump administration have shaken that foundation. President Donald Trump’s bogus assertion that millions of people voted illegally has been widely debunked. The sham commission he created to validate this absurd claim has already suppressed voting. Its attempt to create a national database through its unprecedented request for personal voter information, such as partial Social Security numbers and party affiliation, led thousands of voters to cancel their registrations.  Read More