Monday November 6, 2017

There is only one reason the Ohio AG is pushing for a massive Voter Purge before SCOTUS: Politics


Steve Dettelbach called out the Ohio Attorney General and other career politicians in Columbus for using the Voter Purge to rig the electoral process. In an opinion piece in the Columbus Dispatch, Dettelbach, a former U.S. Attorney, urged the Supreme Court to reject the political gamesmanship and uphold the Sixth Circuit’s ruling that the Purge violated the National Voter Registration Act.

Dettelbach also called on Ohio voters to conduct a purge of their own — by getting rid of the career politicians who are trying to rig the system in the 2018 elections.

Click here to read the full piece or see excerpts below:

In the coming weeks, a lawyer representing the Ohio Attorney General will stand before the United States Supreme Court and will ask that Court to answer the following question: how many Ohio voters who lawfully registered can the State remove from its rolls without actually violating the law? Of all the reasons for my state to go before the high court, this is one of the most misguided. The appeal is aimed at gaining political advantage for candidates in 2018 and 2020, not protecting the rights of Ohio voters.

…the Ohio Secretary of State purged 1.2 million people who had lawfully registered as Ohio voters from the rolls, largely for not voting often enough.

…Those actions violated the National Voter Registration Act, said the [Sixth Circuit] court, which specifically says that voters cannot be removed from election rolls “by reason of the person’s failure to vote.”

…The Ohio Attorney General’s most important job is to protect the rights of every citizen. So why is that office going to the highest court in the land to explore the outer limits of excluding Ohioans from voting? Sadly, there is just one reason: politics.

A Reuters analysis uncovered that in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, voters in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods were twice as likely to be purged as those in Republican-leaning ones—that’s right—twice as likely.

Ohio’s purge is about … whether elected officials can rig the political system to get a partisan edge. It’s part of the same movement that created Ohio’s tortured congressional map and it comes from exactly the same people—national funders and outside political groups pushing all the limits in a state that that has a pivotal role in presidential elections.

Playing politics with voting rights is short-sighted and plain wrong. Voting rights should not be a partisan’s the voters who are supposed to pick their elected officials, not the other way around, right?

…the purge unfairly impacts certain Ohio citizens. It hurts military-service men and women who are away from their homes, people with disabilities, and the elderly.

This is not the Ohio I know. We traditionally reject extreme politics and gamesmanship. And when Ohio’s elected leaders in either party have forgotten that fact, Ohio voters have pointedly reminded them.

…At times like these we need a truly independent judicial branch. We need the Court to see the damage this type of corrosive action can cause, and step in to protect our democracy. If they don’t, it will again be up to Ohio’s voters to deliver that message—at least those of us that are still left on the rolls.