As you may have picked up, the voter fraud bamboozlers have shifted their attentions from voter ID to voter roll purges. That’s where the hot voting rights action is right now (ahead of the big redistricting battles of 2020 and beyond). A lot of the voter roll purge fight is still under the radar, but that may change with the Supreme Court case being argued tomorrow. Here’s Tierney Sneed’s story on that. But I wanted to flag a bit of evidence offered in the case where voting rights advocates are challenging Ohio’s regimen for purging the voter rolls.
The scheme Ohio has in place now calls for a notice to be mailed to a voter if she hasn’t voted in two years. The voter is supposed to respond with confirmation of her mailing address. If she doesn’t, and then doesn’t vote for another four years, she’s struck from the voter rolls.
At issue in the case is whether it’s against federal law to make non-voting a trigger for a purge from the voter rolls. The case will likely be decided on arguments over statutory construction. But let’s look at the practical impact.
In the 2012 cycle, according to federal data presented in the briefs, just shy of 20 percent of the 1.5 million notices sent out in Ohio were responded to by the voters. (In the 2016 cycle, according to the federal data not included in the briefs, it was around 30 percent of the 2.2 million notices Ohio sent out.) The overwhelming percentage of voters who received the notices did not respond and are on track to be purged if they miss two more federal elections.
A number of other states have joined with Ohio in pushing for the Supreme Court to okay this so-called voter roll “maintenance.” So the potential impacts are significant. Tierney will be at the Supreme Court tomorrow reporting on this case.
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