Speed Reads

don't rock the vote

Supreme Court says states can strip inactive voters of their registration, in blow to civil rights groups

The Supreme Court upheld Ohio's controversial policy allowing the removal of inactive voters from voter rolls Monday, potentially causing more states to follow Ohio's lead.

Ohio sends out notices to voters who miss a federal election, says The New York Times, and gives them four years to vote or respond to the letter before stripping their voting registration. Federal law says citizens can't be kicked off voter rolls just because they don't vote, but the court's conservative justices dominated a 5-4 decision that ruled that because voters receive warnings and don't take action, Ohio has a valid reason to kick them off the voting books.

Before the decision, at least a dozen other states said they'd copy Ohio's policy if the Supreme Court sided with the state, NBC News reports. But civil justice groups aren't happy, with one claiming more than half of Ohio voters won't cast a ballot in a two-year span. Others call it a hit to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which made getting and maintaining registration easier.

Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion hinted that Ohio may not have the "ideal method" of keeping voter rolls updated, but reminded readers that the court was only there to decide if the policy is legal or not.