Ohio Purges Thousands of Black Voters From Voting Rolls

Reuters reports that Ohio officials have purged tens of thousands of voters who haven’t cast a ballot since the 2008 presidential election from the rolls.

While purging inactive voters is fairly common, doing it on this scale — and after only eight years of inactivity — is an exception. Although the statewide total of impacted voters isn’t known, Reuters found that 144,000 voters had been purged in the three biggest counties, and black and Democratic-leaning districts were twice as likely to be affected as white and Republican-leaning districts.

When kicked off the rolls, voters have to register again. Not only is this a hassle, there are reports of voters not finding out until they get to their polling places. Then, it’s already too late.

Because Ohio is a swing-state, this could have a huge impact on pro-climate candidates in the election, as well as potential state-wide measures for clean energy, raising the minimum wage, and legalizing medical marijuana and industrial hemp.

Civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, filed suit against Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted in April, alleging that the rule targets minority and low-income voters and violates a federal law saying states can only purge voters from rolls upon death, request, or if they move out of state.

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