The Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to hear a case concerning whether Ohio’s method of removing names from its voter rolls violates federal law.
The battleground-state case pits voting rights groups that say Ohio’s system suppresses the vote against state officials who argue their process is meant to ensure the accuracy of voter rolls.
It comes after President Donald Trump this month dissolved a controversial commission that had been launched to combat what the President claims is a problem of voter fraud, though many election law experts say there is no widespread evidence that such a problem exists.
In Ohio, voters who have not engaged in voter activity for two years are sent address confirmation notices. If a voter returns the notice through prepaid mail or responds through the internet, his or her information is updated. If the notice is ignored and the voter fails to update a registration over the next four years, the registration is canceled.
Larry Harmon — a voter in the state — challenged the process, arguing that he had been removed from the rolls even though he had not moved. He had simply opted not to vote in 2009 and 2010. When he showed up at the polls in 2015, he was told his registration had been canceled. He claimed no recollection of receiving a confirmation notice from the state and he later sued, along with two public interest groups, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and the A. Philip Randolph Institute.