Friday, September 16, 2016

Ohio Still Purging Voters

If you're planning on heading to the polls in November, you need to think about when you last cast a ballot.

"You could show up on Election Day and think you're registered to vote and not appear on the books at all," says Mike Brickner from Ohio's American Civil Liberties Union.

That's because Ohio, along with Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Montana, and Florida cleanse, or purge their lists of eligible voters.

Brickner says this could be a problem for countless voters.

A Pew Study finds nearly three million voters have duplicate registrations and almost two million dead people are still on the voter logs.

"People who fall outside of those categories are being purged form the voter rolls and don't even know that they're being removed," Brickner says.

But Robert Popper of Judicial Watch, says the idea is to keep voting lists up to date with those who are actively registered to vote.

"You shouldn't have a voter roll filled with people who are dead or don't live in the state," Popper says.

And that's where the legal battles begin, Voters who haven't voted recently receive a post card to update their status. They have between two and four years to either write back or show up to vote to reclaim eligibility.

"It's logical, and it's a logical process," Popper says. "When you don't have that happen you open yourself up to voter fraud."

Bub Brickner says these postcards can be confusing and target people unfamiliar with the voting system.

"They're not sure what to do; they do nothing," Brickner says.

The State of Ohio says it's a fair system. A jJdge recently ruled in favor of voter purging. The ACLU has filed an appeal. While Brickner agrees that states need a clean list, he doesn't think people who haven't recently voted should suffer.

"We don't run on a use it or lose it system," he says.

A decision on the appeal is expected any day.

In Ohio, the deadline to register to vote in the November election, is Oct. 11.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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