by Justin Levitt, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles*
Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided that states can kick voters off the rolls without any reliable evidence that the voters in question might be ineligible. That’s a disappointing result, and the culmination of a series of disappointments along the way. But there is one significant reason for optimism among the gloom: unlike many other Court pronouncements, on voting rights and otherwise, most voters can fight back against the impact of this decision directly.
First, it’s disappointing that we’re having this discussion at all. The Ohio process at issue in the case assumed that voters who hadn’t voted in two years had probably moved, sent them all a postcard, and if that single piece of mail wasn’t returned and the voter didn’t vote for four more years, the voter was removed from the rolls.