Could You Lose Your Voter Registration for Not Voting?

On Election Day 2016, some Ohio residents turned out to vote only to be told their names had been removed from the list of registered voters. They had chosen not to vote in the last few elections, and as a result, Ohio officials had purged their names from the rolls. But was this an acceptable reason for their state government to remove them from its voter registry? The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments earlier this term in a case that will decide that question, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute. The case pits state interests in preventing voter fraud against citizens’ right to vote when they see fit. The challengers identified Ohio as employing one of the most stringent purge programs in the country—in fact, they contended that over 7,500 eligible votes from the 2016 election would not have been counted if not for the suit. Under Ohio’s “supplemental” process, if voters are inactive for two years, the state sends them a notice; if they fail…

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