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U.S. Supreme Court OK's Ohio's Voter Purge

photo of early voters in Stark County
WKSU

In a close vote, the U.S.  Supreme Court has upheld Ohio’s purge of its voting rolls, saying the state can remove voters after they fail to cast ballots for two years and don’t respond to notices for another four.  The
Supreme Court vote was 5 to 4.

Among the plaintiffs was Larry Harmon, a Navy vet who lives near Kent. He skipped voting after the 2008 election in part because he wasn’t enthused about the candidates and in part because of disruption in his personal life.

In 2015, he tried to vote on the referendum legalizing the use of recreational marijuana in Ohio and found out he’d been removed from the rolls. Harmon says he doesn’t recall receiving the state’s notice that he was in jeopardy of losing his right to vote.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says the state has an interest in ensuring its voter rolls are current. 

M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.