By Tim Kowols
A U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow Ohio to remove voters from its rolls for not participating in past elections could have a ripple effect across the country including Wisconsin. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Ohio did not violate the National Voter Registration Act and could continue its practice of purging voters who had not participated in elections for two years and did not respond to correspondence from the state. According to NBC News, proponents believe voter purges helps curtail potential fraud while opponents say it disproportionally affects minority and low-income groups. Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says no such system exists in the state yet when it comes to voting frequency, but believes the “use or lose it” mentality is almost undemocratic.
Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oregon, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Montana also have similar rules. The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to officially weigh in on Wisconsin’s case regarding redistricting with just a couple weeks remaining in its term.