Voting Rights

Ruling made in Voter Purge Case

10.25.16

On September 23, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a decision in the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, et al. vs Husted case. The Appeals Court found Secretary of State Jon Husted’s Supplemental Process for removing eligible Ohio voters violated federal law and must be discontinued.

To remedy the illegal removal of hundreds of thousands of voters, a federal judge ruled Secretary of State Husted must give these voters an opportunity to cast their ballot in the upcoming 2016 presidential election. Any Ohio voter who did not vote in at least three federal elections and were removed from the voting rolls between 2011 and 2015 would be able to cast a provisional ballot at their county board of elections or their local precinct. Voters can visit their county board of elections any time during the early voting period or they can cast their ballot at their precinct on Election Day.

The settlement in this case does not apply to voters who are deceased, have moved out of state, were declared incompetent to vote by a probate court or became incarcerated in a federal or state prison on a felony conviction and failed to re-register upon their release. Also, voters who were purged and living in an entirely different county from where they were last registered will not be able to vote provisionally.

The ruling in this case is a victory for Ohio voters but it is only a temporary solution until a solution can be found for future elections. The ACLU will continue to advocate for all illegally purged voters to be returned to the voter rolls for future elections. Purged voters are also encouraged to visit the ACLU of Ohio Voter Alert page and fill out our Voter Complaint Form if an election official manager or poll worker refuses to provide them with a provisional ballot. Our complaint form will allow us to document cases where individuals are denied a provisional ballot.

Read the Secretary of State’s October 19, 2016 directive about provisional ballots for individuals with a personal illness, physical disability, or infirmity.

Read the Secretary of State’s October 25, 2016 directive about provisional ballots for purged voters.

View all documents in Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) v. Husted