Supreme Court allows Ohio voter purge

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is allowing Ohio to clean up its voting rolls by targeting people who haven't cast ballots in a while.

The justices are rejecting, by a 5-4 vote Monday, arguments that the practice violates a federal law intended to increase the ranks of registered voters. A handful of other states also use voters' inactivity to trigger a process that could lead to their removal from the voting rolls.

Justice Samuel Alito says that Ohio is complying with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. He is joined by his four conservative colleagues.

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan did not particularly agree with the ruling. He expressed his thoughts in a press release Monday after the ruling was announced. 

"The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy and must be protected.  Every American who is eligible deserves an equal opportunity to elect their representatives and weigh in on the issues that matter most to them. The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute has undermined that founding principle. With this decision, Ohio Secretary of State John Husted has been given the all-clear to continue purging thousands of Ohioans from the voter rolls," Ryan stated.

He went on to state that the right to vote should be protected.

"Our public officials should be fighting to protect our right to vote, not inhibiting it. I will stop at nothing to ensure this fundamental freedom is restored to every eligible Ohioan. That is why I am proud to be a cosponsor of the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2017, which would reinstate the eliminated portions of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 and expand voting rights to several disenfranchised groups. Any party or movement willing to suppress votes for political gain is an affront to our democratic values and ideals," He stated.

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