Haven't voted in years? Check registration, despite court ruling

Haven't voted in years? Check registration, despite court ruling

(WTOL) - Planning on voting this election?  You may not be registered to vote anymore.

Thousands of voters were removed from the system by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted because they hadn't voted in years. That's been ruled unconstitutional, but an attorney still recommends checking your voter registration.

A lower court had previously ruled in favor of the Husted, but the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the court right below the U.S. Supreme Court, found it unconstitutional to remove or 'purge' someone as a registered voter simply because they hadn't voted in a several elections.

Ellis Jacobs, an attorney with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), says this decision is important, as he finds it wrong to strip someone of their right to vote because they choose to be an infrequent voter.

"It's very important that we d rop people from the voting rolls if they've died, or if they've moved, or any of the other reasons why people should be d ropped from the voting rolls, but being an infrequent voter is not one of those reasons," said Jacobs.

He says the decision was handed down by three judges in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and it's possible Husted will request a review by all of the Sixth Circuit judges or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jacobs says it's also unclear what the plan is to remedy this purge if the ruling stands, so don't wait for a court outcome if you plan to pick the president in November.

"If you're an infrequent voter you really need to pay attention," said Jacobs. "You may have been d ropped from the voting rolls unbeknownst to you, and you need to check on that because if you don't, you might show up to vote and get the uncomfortable news that you're no longer registered to vote."

Jacobs says assuming this ruling stands, it sets the law for purging in all the states in the Sixth Circuit, which he says covers the mid-east or mid-west, but you can expect it to be followed in other circuits as well.

The Secretary of State's Office did not return WTOL's request for comment.

There are two more weeks left to register to vote, so if you're unsure if you are registered, click here.

People who are not registered to vote can do so in several places in Ohio, including the library.

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