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Tag: voter rolls

158,000 Ohio Voters Purged Part II: An Open Source Process

By: Sadie Peloquin

Following the decision in Husted v. Philip Randolph Institute, which upheld the Ohio’s supplemental removal process, Ohio purged 158,000 voters from its role due to inactivity and inaccurate registrations. However, that number could have been much higher. Secretary of State Frank LaRose originally complied a list of 235,000 voters who were eligible to be purged on September 6th. Due to the implementation of certain exemptions and a uniquely transparent and collaborative removal process, 20% of the names on the original list were saved from the purge. Since the purge, LaRose has continued to advance further measures to improve the Ohio voter registration system, while still dealing with problems arising from this most recent removal.

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158,000 Ohio Voters Purged Part I: Junk Mail Matters

By: Sadie Peloquin

On September 6th of this year, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose oversaw the removal of roughly 158,000 registrations from the state’s voter roll. This purge resulted from a controversial 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, handed down in June 2018, which upheld an Ohio voter-purge law that allowed the removal of inactive voters who failed to update their registrations if they moved. Though LaRose implemented a series of removal exemptions over the past year, many voting rights activists are concerned that the purge still resulted in the mistaken removal of active voters. This blog post will cover the 2018 Supreme Court case and will be followed by another that looks at how the voter purge itself was carried out over the last year.

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Use-it-or-lose-it Voting Rights: A Closer Look at Oklahoma’s Voter List Maintenance

By: Sarah Marshment

In Oklahoma, April 15 doesn’t just mean that it’s time to turn your taxes in: at least, not on odd years like 2019. In the spring of every odd year, Oklahoma does voter list maintenance. This last April, state election officials in Oklahoma removed 88,276 registered voters from the voting rolls. Although this purging is required by law, state election officials offer up an additional justification – voter fraud.

State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax stated that “[m]aintaining clean and updated voter rolls . . . . protects our democracy by making it far more difficult for someone to use outdated voter lists to attempt to commit fraud or disrupt our elections.” Given the rising levels of concern about the security of our elections, this is a powerful rationale to invoke. However, Mr. Ziriax himself also states that “voter fraud is exceptionally rare in Oklahoma and is not a major issue here.” Mr. Ziriax explains that “this is not a new process, it is not partisan, and no Oklahoma voter is ever removed simply for failing to vote.”

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The ACRU Targets a Third Texas District for Allegedly Registering More Voters Than Eligible

By Justin D. Davenport

On March 4, 2016, the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division, alleging that Starr County had violated § 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The ACRU argues that Starr County “failed to make reasonable efforts to conduct voter list maintenance programs” and, therefore, the county has failed to meet its obligations under § 8. Starr County is the third Texas county whose voter rolls the ACRU has challenged for allegedly listing more registered voters in the district than citizens eligible to vote.

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Geaux Vote (or Don’t): Exploring the Excessive Number of Louisiana Voters on the State’s Inactive Voter List

by Erica Woebse

In a state of four million people and two million registered voters, Louisiana lists a staggering 190,848 registered voters on the state’s inactive voter list. Called “notably high” by Times-Picayune Reporter Bruce Alpert, this number has sparked controversy and left residents wondering how and why almost ten percent of Louisiana registered voters are classified as inactive.

Karen Carter Peterson of the Louisiana Democratic Party fears people are being stripped of their right to vote without adequate notice. This fear echoes a larger national controversy regarding voter ID laws and the right to vote.  While Republicans allege new voter ID laws protect the integrity of elections and root out voter fraud, Democrats claim new laws, which require voters to show state issued IDs and purge inactive voters from election polls, are intended to discourage minorities and low income individuals from voting. Continue reading

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