In reversal, Trump administration backs Ohio voter purge

In reversal, Trump administration backs Ohio voter purge
© Greg Nash

The Trump administration will support the state of Ohio in its bid to revive a state policy that purges voters from voter rolls if they do not regularly cast ballots, a reversal from the Obama administration's stance on the case.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the Justice Department filed court documents with the Supreme Court staking its new position on the case ahead of the high court's decision on the law.

Last year, a lower court blocked the state policy, ruling that it ran afoul of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. 

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Under the policy, if registered voters don't vote for two years, they are sent notices confirming their voter registration. If they do not respond to the notices and continue to not vote over the next four years, they are removed from the rolls.

The ACLU filed a suit last year against Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted over the policy. The suit said that thousands of voters have been illegally removed from voter rolls, and that the rule disproportionately impacts minorities and poor people.

Husted told Reuters that the policy was administered the same by both Republicans and Democrats.

Democrats and liberal groups swiftly condemned the Trump administration's decision to back the state policy.

The White House is "playing politics with our democracy and threatening the fundamental right to vote," said the League of Women Voters in a statement to Reuters.

"Our democracy is stronger when more people have access to the ballot box — not fewer," added the DNC.