The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] on Friday struck down [opinion, PDF] a procedure implemented by the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted [official website] that effectively eliminated inactive voters from registration rolls if they failed to respond to letters requesting confirmation of their status and addresses. The suit was filed by the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, and Larry Harmon, who sought to enjoin the Secretary from removing the names of registered voters from Ohio’s voter rolls on the contention that such a procedure violates the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) [text] and Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) [text, PDF]. The Secretary has indicated [WP report] that he may be appealing this decision if it requires the state to reinstate the eligibility of voters who have moved out of Ohio.
The right to vote has become especially contentious as the presidential election approaches. Earlier this month the Missouri legislature overrode [JURIST report] vetoes by Governor Jay Nixon to approve two bills, one requiring voter ID and the other removing the need to renew permits in order to carry a concealed weapon. Last month an Oklahoma court upheld [JURIST report] a controversial voter ID law allowing the law to be in place while early voting commenced for a primary run-off. In July voter restrictions were overturned in North Carolina, Kansas and Wisconsin [JURIST reports].