Justice Department Reverses Its Stance On Ohio's U.S. Supreme Court Voting Rolls Case

Aug 8, 2017

The U.S. Justice Department has taken an unusual move. It reversed its position on a high-profile US Supreme Court case involving Ohio’s process for maintaining voter rolls. 

U.S. Justice Department attorneys have filed a friend of the court brief, saying Ohio can legally remove voters flagged as inactive or those who have failed to respond to recent mailings. Mike Brickner with the ACLU of Ohio says this is the opposite position of the department in recent years.

“You know, we typically rely on the Department of Justice to expand and protect the right to vote. And this seems to confirm many people’s worst fears that this Department of Justice will instead undermine the right to vote.”

Brickner says 7500 people who voted in Ohio last fall wouldn’t have been able to vote if these restrictions were in place. Secretary of State Jon Husted has said the case is about maintaining the integrity of elections and without these restrictions, it would be hard for elections officials to properly maintain voter rolls.