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STATEMENT from DI’s Wendy Fields: Supreme Court Fails Ohio Voters

Monday, June 11, 2018

For Immediate Release
June 11, 2018

Contact
Myke Bybee: (202) 567-6103
mbybee@democracyinitiative.org

 

Washington, D.C.- This Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision on behalf of Ohio, allowing its unconscionable and needlessly aggressive voting "purge" to continue. In Ohio, voters who abstain from voting or simply do not vote in a federal election are sent a mailed notice asking them to confirm their residence. If they fail to reply and do not vote for four more years, they are then purged from the Ohio voter rolls. People should have the right to be able to vote whenever they want, even if they have not voted in the past or have missed a few elections. In a country where voter turnout is already low, these kinds of practices simply make it more difficult for those who do want to participate in our democracy. 

In response to the ruling, Wendy Fields, Executive Director of the Democracy Initiative, issued the following statement:

 

This Supreme Court decision highlights the need to continue fighting for voting protections across the country, especially for young people and college students, poor families, and communities of color. As Justice Sotomayor writes in her dissent, the decision '...entirely ignores the history of voter suppression against which the National Voting Rights Act was enacted and upholds a program that appears to further very disenfranchisement of minority and low-income voters that Congress set out to eradicate.' Nationally, six other states — Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — have similar practices that target voters for removal from the rolls for not voting, but Ohio’s is the most extreme. In the face of these continued attacks on millions of voters, the DI and our allies will increase our efforts in the national Election Protection and proactively fight for 21st century voting reforms in order to increase ensure that every American can vote and have their vote counted. Voting is how everyday people can hold elected officials accountable, and have an equal voice in the decisions that matter most to our families, our communities, and our future.

Related Resources: Join the movement for a democracy that is of, by, and for the people at http://www.democracyinitiative.org/take-action/democracy-365-campaign

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Myke Bybee at mbybee@democracyinitiative.org or (202) 567-6103.

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The Democracy Initiative is a coalition of organizations launched in 2013 working toward a bright future in which all Americans participate fully and freely in the democratic process. We believe that the voice of every citizen should be heard and counted, so all of us have an equal say in a democracy that is of, by, and for the people. Our partner organizations pursue a diverse range of progressive goals, including civil rights, workers’ rights, women’s rights, and climate justice, but we know that success in any of these areas depends on reforming our democracy.