Court sides with Hunter’s position that state voter registration roll maintenance program complies with federal law
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today celebrated another victory for the state at the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the laws in Ohio and other states, including Oklahoma, that ensure that the states’ list of registered voters remains accurate.
The National Voter Registration Act requires states to implement programs that ensure accurate voter registration rolls by removing the names of people who have died or moved.
Ohio, like Oklahoma, complies with this law by sending a notice to voters who have not voted in any election for two years. If a voter fails to return a postage prepaid card confirming that they still live at the registered address or indicate online that they are still living at that address, and if they fail vote at any local, state, or federal election for four more years, the voter’s name is removed from the voter registration list.
Last August, Oklahoma and sixteen other states filed a brief in support of Ohio’s law, arguing it is an “accurate, effective, and efficient means of conducting [voter] list maintenance.” Read the brief here: https://bit.ly/2t1dLD1.
In a 5 to 4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this practice as consistent with the federal law aimed at maintaining accurate voter registration rolls. Programs like that of Ohio and Oklahoma, the Court held, follows federal law “to the letter.”
The Court’s decision noted that around 24 million voter registrations in the United States—one in every eight registered voters—are invalid or inaccurate, and 2.75 million people are estimated to be registered to vote in more than one state. More than 10 percent of Americans move every year, making the task of maintaining accurate voter rolls difficult.
“Maintaining accurate voter rolls is vital to a well-functioning democracy and is instrumental in defending each citizen’s most precious right—the right to vote,” Attorney General Hunter said. “There are too many sad chapters in American history where unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of inaccurate voter rolls to sway elections by casting ballots on behalf of those who have died or moved away. I commend the Supreme Court’s decision today upholding the right of Oklahoma to ensure that Oklahoma elections are free from taint and fraud.”
The Supreme Court’s decision can be read here: https://bit.ly/2HFtBsf.