What the Supreme Court Voter Purge Ruling Means

Supreme Court decides case on purging voter registration rolls

Supreme Court Allows Ohio to Purge Inactive Voters

Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, said other states could follow Ohio's lead.

OH has sent more than 3 million notices of address confirmation since 2011, when Husted became Secretary of State. That's an very bad lot of dead weight, rife with opportunities for fraud.

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the OH secretary of state had the right to purge voters from rolls in his state for not having voted in an election for four or more years.

The conservative majority's opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, revolved around a complicated interpretation of how the NVRA language interacted with another voting law later passed by Congress, the Help America Vote Act. Although the state notifies the voter that they are in danger of being purged via a postcard, the entire process is triggered by the voter's failure to participate in the electoral process for "two consecutive years". The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) among other provisions had forbade removing voters from registration lists for failing to vote. OH wanted to initiate a purge that sent notices to voters if they missed voting for just two years, arguing that it was the subsequent failure to respond to multiple notices that triggered their removal, not failure to vote. If they finally woke up from oblivion years later, they could always re-register to vote.

Husted, in other words, is the kind of case where ideology matters most. If an individual had already been denied registration and can not re-register, that would have been a valid justiciable case or controversy.

Contaminated voters rolls pose an existential threat to the integrity of elections, yet according to the Public Interest Legal Foundation, as of a year ago there were 141 counties with more registered voters than living people of voting age!

J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), praised the decision. "Why do they hate election integrity?" he asked. If someone doesn't respond and then doesn't vote during the next four years, the state removes the person. The court's narrow ruling is likely to have dramatic knock-on affects across the country. The Supreme Court is supreme over the Sixth Circuit.

All states are required to periodically comb the voter rolls for people who may have moved to another state - a process known as list maintenance.

We never win Roe- or Obergefell-level decisions.

"What matters for present purposes is not whether the Ohio Legislature overestimated the correlation between nonvoting and moving or whether it reached a wise policy judgment about when return cards should be sent", he wrote. This is what we are seeing with immigration as well. What's more, he added, the state also keeps voters on the rolls if they take nonvoting actions like filling out a voter registration form or signing a petition. "Congress wields power "only over the "when, where, and how" of holding congressional elections", not over the question of who can vote", observed Thomas.

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