US Supreme Court Upholds Ohio Voter Purge

WASHINGTON, DC (WTVN)--The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the state of Ohio can proceed with its "purge" of the voter rolls.

The 5-4 ruling supports the move made by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who had been clearing the rolls of voters who had not cast a ballot in two years, or had ignored warning letters about the move.

Republicans supported the move, and democrats are criticizing the decision on Monday.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says, in a statement, "Today’s decision is a victory for election integrity, and a defeat for those who use the federal court system to make election law across the country. This decision is validation of Ohio’s efforts to clean up the voter rolls and now with the blessing nation’s highest court, it can serve as a model for other states to use."

State Representative Kathleen Clyde, who is running for Ohio Secretary of State this fall, said, "It goes against the entire purpose of the National Voter Registration Act which is to increase registration of eligible voters and to keep eligible voters on the rolls."

Clyde adds, "Secretary Husted’s method of purging voters based on frequency of voting is overly aggressive, cutting far too many eligible voters from the rolls and taking their rights away. “We must keep in mind, however, that the Supreme Court’s decision is a limited one. 

Justice Alito’s opinion only holds that federal law allows this purging, it does not suggest that federal law requires it nor that it is good policy. Under this decision, whether or not to purge is left to the states."

The ACLU calls it a setback for voting rights in Ohio. 

The court's decision says the move does not violate federal law, with the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.

The state of Ohio, which defended the move, said voters were not removed from the rolls simply because they had not participated. 

(photo courtesy Getty Images)

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