Justices Likely to Uphold Ohio Voter Purges

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The U.S. Supreme Court seemed likely to bless Ohio’s process for purging voters from its voting rolls after oral argument today.

With one exception, the justices broke along ideological lines, with liberals seeming to find Ohio violated the National Voter Registration Act with the state’s “supplemental process” for purging voters, and conservatives leaning the opposite way.

Under that process, the state sends notices to individuals that haven’t voted for two years. Only if the voter fails to respond, or fails to vote for four additional years, does the state remove the voter from the voter rolls.

The exception was Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who seemed to agree with his conservative colleagues.

Breyer emphasized that the NVRA focuses on ballot integrity, not just easy access to voting. In particular, he seemed concerned about tying the states’ hands.

What are states supposed to do to identify ineligible voters if they can’t do it this way? Breyer asked.

The case is Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, U.S., No. 16-980, argued 1/10/18.