A day after Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted scored a win in federal court, voting rights activists say the case is not over. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless sued Husted in April, arguing the practice of removing voters who are inactive over six years violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also called the “Motor Voter” law. U.S. District Judge George C. Smith disagreed, saying Ohio’s method Ohio’s process is consistent with federal laws because voters are not removed solely for not voting. “The court finds that the public interest is being served by Ohio’s voter maintenance procedures and will continue to be served as long as Ohio continues to operate in compliance with the NVRA,” Smith wrote.
The ACLU disagrees, but has not yet decided if it will appeal the decision, spokesman Mike Brickner said Thursday. “Any removal from the voter rolls needs to be predicated that they’ve moved or died,” Brickner said. “Simply not voting is not evidence of that.”
The Motor Voter law prohibits removing voters for being inactive but also requires states to keep voter rolls up to date. The law prohibits removing voters solely for not voting, but states are allowed to use a “supplemental process” for removing voters who have moved without updating their addresses or died.