The Alarming State of Voter Purges


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We have a fundamental right to vote, but the Republicans are absolutely determined to make it as hard as possible for some groups to access that right.

Yesterday, a Brennan Center for Justice report made the news because they found that at least 17 million voters were purged from the voter rolls between 2016 and 2018. Furthermore, the purges were significantly higher in communities that had a documented history of voter discrimination.

This is on top of news from back in July 2018 that found that since a key portion of the Voting Rights Act had been invalidated by SCOTUS in 2013, multiple states had started voter purge programs some of which were illegally implemented:

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Ohio had a voter purge program that got sued and wound through the court system recently and eventually ended up in front of the Supreme Court. Under Obama, the Department of Justice (DOJ) argued against Ohio’s program (which essentially was kicking voters off the rolls if they didn’t vote), but when Trump became president, his DOJ switched its position. In a 5-4 ruling, SCOTUS sided with Ohio. That means their voter purge program is ongoing and legal.

The sad fact is that voter purges are happening everywhere and we must be vigilant. There are valid reasons why states want to clean up their voter rolls (people move out of state, folks die, others lose their right to vote for committing felonies, etc.) but that’s not what we’re talking about here. When it’s only Republican state legislators and Republican secretaries of states who are implementing voter purge programs, something else is going on. (Reminder: Vote in ALL of your local elections!!!)

What you can do

✦ Check your voter registration frequently. It only takes 30 seconds to check. Bookmark your state’s voter registration page or the voter registration lookup at  IWillVote. Check yours right now.

✦ Remind others on a regular basis to check their voter registration, and remind them that voter purges are real. Something like this:

✦ Check to make sure your state doesn’t use Crosscheck, a voter purge program that has a 99% error rate. (I’m not kidding.) Check for your state HERE. If your state is on the list, follow the instructions at that link for how you can advocate to get rid of it.

✦ Advocate for Automatic Voter Registration in your state.

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