Fight against Ohio voter purge grows

CLEVELAND — The U.S. Justice Department has joined a legal battle trying to undo a purge of voter registrations in Ohio, according to Cleveland Scene.

The website reported that the fight started in April when when the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless filed suit in federal court in Columbus. The suit is an effort to stop Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s move to revoke the registrations of an unspecified number of residents because they didn’t respond to address verification requests or hadn’t voted in four years. A U.S. District Court upheld the secretary’s actions.

The Justice Department joined the suit on Monday, July 27, Scene reported. The department said that the purge violates both the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002. It’s asking for a reversal by the appellate court.

Reuters estimated that at least 144,000 voters were purged for inactivity in Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties, home of the state’s three largest cities.

“The fact that the federal government has come forward and said that people may be disenfranchised by this process is a very powerful statement,” ACLU of Ohio senior Policy director Mike Brickner told Scene. “They (Ohio) are doing purges yearly now, so if the lawsuit is not successful, there will be additional purges this year.”

If you are an Ohio resident and want to confirm that your voter registration is still active ahead of the November elections, you can check through the Secretary of State’s voter website at MyOhioVote.com.