voter purge

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Ohio: 275,000 residents get ‘last chance’ to stay registered | Dayton Daily News

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office is sending “last chance” notifications to some 275,000 inactive voters across the state, giving them a final shot at keeping voting registrations active on county rolls.
In Montgomery County, some 17,918 residents should receive the notices, according to the secretary’s office. They will also go to 6,912 Butler County residents and 5,273 residents in Warren County. The secretary’s office says voters get six years to respond to county boards of elections to confirm registrations. If residents don’t respond or don’t vote in at least 12 elections, don’t request absentee ballot applications in even-numbered year general elections or don’t have their information automatically updated in transactions with Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices — if voters “ignore” those attempts to keep them on the rolls, they are sent a “last chance” notice, said a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, Matthew McClellan. Read More

Ohio: ‘Purge’ Warnings Sent To 275,000 Inactive Voters | WOSU

Ohio’s elections chief said Wednesday that more than 275,000 inactive Ohio voters are about to get their final opportunity to keep from dropping off the rolls. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said that’s the total number of so-called “last chance mailings” going out from county boards of elections as part of Ohio’s contested process for keeping its list of eligible voters up-to-date. Ohio’s procedure for maintaining its voter rolls is considered one of the most stringent in the nation, because it employs a “supplemental process” that has led to the removal of thousands of people who failed to vote and then didn’t respond to government requests to affirm their registrations. Read More

Arizona: How many Arizonans couldn’t vote because they were purged? | Arizona Republic

How many Arizonans were unable to vote in the general election because they were purged from the rolls over out-of-date addresses that stemmed from violations of federal voting laws? State elections officials told The Arizona Republic this week that they had no way of knowing because there is no process to track voters affected by the routine removals. The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office knew before Tuesday’s election that the registrations of about 390,000 Arizonans since November 2016 were not automatically updated when they changed the address on their driver’s licenses — a requirement under the National Voting Registration Act of 1993, unless a voter opts out of such updates. Some of those voters might, however, have cast provisional ballots, which can be counted if elections officials determine after the fact that they are legitimate. As of Friday, an estimated 50,000 provisional ballots have been cast across Arizona with an additional 11,000 out-of-precinct ballots from Maricopa County voting centers. This estimate does not include Mojave and Gila counties, which haven’t released data yet. Read More

Arizona: Minorities, poor areas most affected by Maricopa County voter purges | Arizona Republic

Maricopa County residents have been purged from the voter rolls nearly 1.1 million times since the 2008 election. Nearly half, or 491,944, of the removals happened, as required by state statute, after the Maricopa County Elections Department mails a notice — an early ballot or a voter guide — to a voter and it is returned undelivered by the U.S. Postal Service. If the initial and subsequent notices are undelivered, the individual is designated “inactive.” Inactive voters who do not update their registrations or vote in the following two general elections are removed from the rolls. It’s a policy intended to ensure the rolls include only people who are eligible to vote, and, supporters say, it helps prevent fraud. The remainder of the purges are largely voters who moved out of the county or died. Read More

West Virginia: Large-Scale Purge Raises Concerns Among Voters | Truthout

West Virginia’s secretary of state reported last month that more than 100,000 voters — about one in 12 registered voters — had been purged from the rolls prior to the upcoming election. As we documented in a major July report, West Virginia is one of several states that have purged their rolls more aggressively in recent years, raising concerns that eligible voters could be disenfranchised. In order to keep voter rolls accurate, election officials need to periodically remove the names of voters who have died or moved. But purges conducted without sufficient care can lead to the removal of eligible voters. West Virginia’s removals deserve close scrutiny. Some voters in the state have reported problems including being unable to access their records online, and counties reported differing remedies for restoring the registrations of those removed by mistake. Read More

National: The Amazing Disappearing Voter: Voter purges have become the right’s new voter suppression tool of choice | TPM

Houston photographer Lynn Lane has voted in every general election and primary over the last five years. He hasn’t changed his address, so he was stunned this year to receive an official letter warning him that he might soon be erased from the rolls. Lane was one of 4,000 voters whose registrations were personally challenged by a single Republican, Alan Vera, who chairs the Harris County GOP’s “Ballot Security Committee.” This sort of individual challenge is illegal in some states, but Texas law permits it. Republicans blamed the county’s election registrar, a Democrat, for automatically suspending the registrations of 1,700 of those voters — but not before Vera boasted on his Facebook page about what he was up to: Voters whose registrations were suspended for failure to return a confirmation postcard would have to cast provisional ballots, which are “reviewed by the Ballot board,” he wrote, “and I appoint all Republican members of that board.” His “project,” he added, “could make a big difference in the November election results.” Stories like Lane’s are becoming all too familiar to a growing number of American voters, who are being dropped from the rolls at a rapid clip, particularly in states with histories of voter discrimination. Such purges are the new face of voter suppression, civil rights advocates say. Unlike the Jim Crow laws of yore, which blocked access to the rolls with tests and taxes, voter purges take registered voters — often, voters of color — and make them disappear. And unlike voter ID laws, which at least give voters advanced warning, purges can be sudden, silent, untraceable, and irremediable. Read More

Ohio: Court orders boards of election to count provisional ballots in midterms for certain voters purged from rolls | Cleveland Plain Dealer

A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered boards of election in Ohio to count provisional election ballots for the 2018 midterm elections that are cast by certain people previously purged from the state’s voter rolls. A three-judge panel from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that votes cast by people purged from the rolls between 2011 and 2015 must be counted if they still live in the same county of their last registration and if they are not disqualified from voting because of a felony conviction, mental incapacity or death. The panel’s injunction comes as progressive advocacy groups appeal Senior U.S. District Judge George Smith’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against Secretary of State Jon Husted that said notices the state sent to inactive voters were inadequate under federal law. Should the groups be successful on appeal, some voters may be wrongly denied the ability to vote unless the injunction is in place, the panel wrote. Read More

Georgia: Strict laws lead to large purge of voters | Atlanta Journal-Constitution

One evening in July 2017, computers at the Georgia Secretary of State’s office were set to a monumental task. Through the night, they would sift through a list of 6.6 million registered voters, seeking out those who didn’t belong.
By dawn, more than 500,000 people were registered no more. This purge, according to election-law experts, may represent the largest mass disenfranchisement in U.S. history. It also underscores how Georgia – where people once died for the right to vote – has systematically enacted some of the strictest voting laws in the nation over the past two decades. While officials say the laws are aimed at preventing election fraud, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says no state has done more than Georgia in recent years to make voting difficult, especially for minorities. These efforts went relatively unnoticed before this year’s campaign for governor. That has changed amid what appears to be a historically tight race and, perhaps more important, claims that Republicans are engaging in voter suppression. Read More

Alabama: Purge of voter rolls creates stir in Alabama congressional race | Anniston Star

Since John Merrill took office as secretary of state, Alabama has purged 658,000 voters from its rolls, Merrill said Monday. Most of those voters are dead, convicted of felonies or moved out of state, Merrill says. But one Democratic candidate for Congress says the number of purged voters is far higher than it should be. “We’re not going to take this lying down,” said Jacob Ray, campaign manager for Mallory Hagan. Hagan is running as a Democrat for Alabama’s 3rd District seat in Congress, now held by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks. Last week, Hagan announced the creation of a “voter protection committee,” saying that 55,000 voters in the district had been disqualified or labeled inactive since February 2017. Read More

Georgia: State Purged About 107,000 People From Voter Rolls: Report | WABE

Even by Georgia standards, the voter purge of late July 2017 was remarkable. In a single day, more than half a million people — 8 percent of Georgia’s registered voters — were cut from the voter rolls. Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, an avid supporter of President Donald Trump who has described himself as a “politically incorrect conservative,” oversaw the removals eight months after he’d declared himself a candidate for governor. The purge was noteworthy for another reason: For an estimated 107,000 of those people, their removal from the voter rolls was triggered not because they moved or died or went to prison, but rather because they had decided not to vote in prior elections, according to an APM Reports analysis. Many of those previously registered voters may not even realize they’ve been dropped from the rolls. If they show up at the polls on Nov. 6 to vote in the heated Georgia governor’s race, they won’t be allowed to cast a ballot. Kemp’s opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, is vying to become the first African-American woman in U.S. history to serve as a governor. The state has undergone a dramatic influx of African Americans and Latinos whose votes could challenge Republican dominance, and her campaign is trying to turn out people of color, who are more likely to be infrequent voters. If the race is close, the July 2017 purge could affect the outcome. Read More