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Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, said OH officials were not violating federal law with their purge policy (which, according to a federal appeals court, has resulted in 7,500 OH voters being wrongly purged). If voters failed to vote in any election for four consecutive years after the issuance of the notice, then - and only then - would the board of elections remove their names from the rolls. But they can do so if voters don't respond to confirmation notices.

Harmon and OH civil rights groups went to court, arguing that Ohio's practice conflicted with two federal voting laws. Once inactive, a voter can still vote, simply by showing up on election day or requesting a mail ballot. "It does not", Alito said.

Today the Supreme Court made it easier for states to kick people off their voter registration rolls.

The administration of former president Barack Obama had opposed Ohio's process of purging voters, but Donald Trump's administration threw its support behind the midwestern state. But other states may now follow Ohio's lead. Ohio's process, he claims, "does not strike any registrant exclusively by reason of the failure to vote".

The challengers, represented by liberal advocacy group Demos and the American Civil Liberties Union, sued Husted in 2016 to end the policy.

Democrats have accused Republicans of taking steps at the state level, including laws requiring certain types of government-issued identification, meant to suppress the vote of minorities, poor people and others who generally favour Democratic candidates.

The "NVRA does not prohibit a state from using nonvoting" as the basis of sending an address-verification notice, administration lawyers argued in court briefs.

But Ohio's law was considered the harshest in the nation because it kick-started the purging process after only two years.


State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, the Democratic candidate for Ohio Secretary of State, said in a statement that she was "deeply disappointed in this ruling" and urged Husted to "act with restraint". The dissenters said it could result in thousands of infrequent voters losing their right to vote.

Voter purges are not uncommon, even in states led by Democrats.

The state argued that the policy was needed to keep voting rolls current, clearing out people who have moved away or died.

But in recent years, some purges have been viewed through a more partisan lens. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) among other provisions had forbade removing voters from registration lists for failing to vote.

Florida is one of those 38 states. When he showed up at the polls in 2015 he was told his registration had been canceled.

Conservatives on the Supreme Court on Monday upheld Ohio's method of purging voters from the rolls after they miss elections.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton noted on a video posted Monday that it was his organization's lawsuit that prompted OH to get more aggressive in purging ineligible voters in the first place. And five votes is more than four.


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