Supreme Court Upholds Ohio Rules for Canceling Voter Registration

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Justices’ 5-4 decision, in favor of conservatives, could allow purge of more Democratic-leaning voters.

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld Ohio election rules that allow the cancellation of voter registrations for citizens who haven’t voted in two years and don’t confirm their eligibility.

The ruling revives the battleground state’s process for managing its voter rolls after an appeals court invalidated it in 2016. Voting-rights challengers said the state’s approach was among the strictest in the nation.

Federal law prohibits states from disqualifying people because they don’t vote, but it also pushes states to maintain accurate registration lists by removing individuals who have moved, died or otherwise lost eligibility to vote at their registered addresses.

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, ruled that Ohio’s approach was lawful. The case split the court along ideological lines, with conservative justices in the majority and liberals in dissent.

The case has partisan implications because voter turnout tends to be lower in minority communities, making those citizens, who usually favor Democrats, more likely to be affected by state regulations that start the purge process by focusing on recent voting frequency.

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