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Voter Purge

Save Voters Act would overturn this month’s Supreme Court decision upholding “voter purges”

Should people be removed from the list of registered voters if they fail to vote enough times and don’t respond to a letter?

Context

A Supreme Court case this month upheld an Ohio state law which removed certain people from the list of registered voters.

If a person had not voted for two years, they were sent a letter in the postal mail asking for them to confirm their registration. (Basically, are you still alive and do you still live where we have you listed?)

If Ohio failed to hear back and that person also did not vote again for the next four years, they were removed from the voter rolls. Ohio’s justification was that anybody who had died or moved should no longer be on the list, yet several civil rights group sued.

A circuit court found in favor of the plaintiffs, meaning the laws were potentially about to be struck down as unconstitutional. But on appeal, the Supreme Court upheld Ohio’s law by a narrow 5–4 decision. The case was called Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute

What the bill does

The Save Voters Act [S. 3090] would overturn the Supreme Court ruling, thus preventing any state — Ohio or otherwise — from instituting these so-called “voter purges.”

It would do so by adding a section to 1993’s National Voter Registration Act law, explicitly clarifying that a person’s failure to vote or respond to a state-sent mailing cannot be grounds for removal from the rolls.

It was introduced on June 19, eight days after the court decision, by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Klobuchar is the top Democrat on the Senate Rules Committee which has oversight over federal elections, although they largely remain state-run.

 

Read More: Save Voters Act

Tell us what you think. Do you think such action is needed for North Carolina? Should we remove voters who have died, moved, or is mentally incompetent?

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