Federal judges order Ohio to allow purged voters back in
Federal judges on Wednesday ordered Ohio to allow voters who had been purged for not voting over a six-year period to participate in this year's election.
A divided 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel granted an emergency motion sought by voting-rights groups. The ruling overturned in part an Oct. 10 ruling by a federal judge that said voters haven't been illegally purged from Ohio's rolls.
Plaintiffs led by the A. Philip Randolph Institute in June lost their broader challenge to Ohio's election administration process as unconstitutional when the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Ohio's practices.
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But they continued to challenge the confirmation notices the state sent to voters that set off the process of removing them from county voter rolls after not voting in three federal elections or taking other voting-related actions. They said the letters were too vague on letting recipients know the consequences of not responding.
"Plaintiffs have a reasonable, and perhaps even greater, likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that defendant's confirmation notice did not adequately advise registrants of the consequences of failure to respond, as the NVRA (National Voting Rights Act) requires," the court ruled Wednesday.