From [HERE] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ordered on Wednesday that boards of elections in Ohio must count 2018 midterm votes from certain Ohio residents who were previously purged from state voter rolls.
In Ohio, voters who fail to cast a ballot for two years will have notices repeatedly sent to them. If they do not respond to the notices, do not vote within the next four years and do not change address, their voter registration will be canceled.
The court’s three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that a vote cast by a resident purged under this policy between 2011 and 2015 must be counted. The resident must also live in the same county where they last registered, and must not be disqualified from voting due to a felony conviction, mental incapacity or death.
The order comes as the result of an appeal from a previous Ohio District Court ruling that upheld the state’s voter purging process. This ruling dismissed a lawsuit claiming that purges from 1995 to 2016 were unlawful because “the state’s notices to inactive voters didn’t comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.”
Federal law requires forms such as the ones sent to residents during Ohio’s purging process to state that the voter “will be removed” if they fail to vote, or something similarly definitive. Ohio‘s forms currently say that a voter “may be removed” or that their registration “may be cancelled,” which appellants argue is in violation of this law.
The court of appeals did not rule fully on the previous district court decision in the process of giving its order to the state’s boards of elections. However, the panel of appellate judges stated that the voter advocacy groups who brought the appeal would have “a good chance of winning at the appellate level.”