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Government & Politics

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over the Rights of Ohio's Inactive Voters

photo of the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on whether Ohio can disqualify voters from casting ballots if they haven’t voted over a period of years. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze previews arguments in a case that’s expected to set precedent nationwide.

Larry Harmon is a plaintiff in the suit. The Navy vet has lived in his Portage County home for 18 years. He voted in the 2008 presidential election. But he opted out of the next few federal election cycles for a combination of reasons: deaths in the family and a dearth of candidates he wanted to vote for. It wasn’t until 2015, when he went to vote on an initiative to legalize marijuana that he discovered he could no longer vote.

“When I was at the school trying to find my name, I was embarrassed. And I’m trying to figure out what did I do wrong. And then I found out they had just dropped me off, and then I kind of got angry.”

The state says it is simply trying to keep its voter rolls accurate. It says it sends voters a card when they’re inactive for two years, but the actual removal takes six years. Harmon says he never got the card. 

CLICK HERE for an extended interview with Larry Harmon.