STATEMENT: Supreme Court Fails to Protect Voting Rights

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, ruled 5-4 that Ohio can throw eligible Americans off its voter rolls just because they decide to skip some elections. From 2011 to 2014, Ohio removed a reported 846,000 registered Americans from its voter rolls for infrequent voting over a six-year period. In response, Danyelle Solomon, Center for American Progress senior director of Progress 2050, issued the following statement:

Today, the Supreme Court failed to protect the most fundamental of rights—voting. For too long, lawmakers have promoted the toxic myth of voter fraud to justify silencing citizens who wish to make their voices heard in the halls of power. The high court’s conservatives gave Ohio and other states the green light to manipulate their voter rolls and keep eligible Americans, especially people of color, from participating in elections.

Liz Kennedy, senior director of Democracy and Government Reform at CAP, added:

The Supreme Court has just given a stamp of approval to voter suppression. Ohio’s system of purging voters that choose not to participate in some elections unfairly silences hundreds of thousands of voters in the state, especially people of color and the homeless. This anti-voter purging process is started without any evidence that a voter has either changed residence or otherwise become ineligible. We should be protecting Americans’ fundamental right to exercise power over their government by voting, not throwing people off the rolls simply because they take an election off and don’t respond to a piece of mail.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org or 202.478.6327.