AG Beshear Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Ohio Voting Law

Sep 27, 2017

Credit Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

  Kentucky's attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down an Ohio law that he thinks suppresses the vote.  Andy Beshear’s action is aimed at preventing a similar law in the commonwealth.

  Under the Ohio law, citizens are removed from the voter rolls if they fail to cast a ballot during any two-year period.  Supporters say the move improves the accuracy of voter rolls. 

Given there are no Kentucky elections this year, Beshear says a similar law could disenfranchise every Kentuckian who failed to vote in 2016 by barring them from casting ballots in 2018.  He says certain voters would be disproportionately excluded, such as minorities, low-income, and disabled voters. 

Beshear and attorneys general from 13 states claim in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court that the Ohio law violates the National Voter Registration Act. 

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is also voicing support for the legal challenge.  She says every eligible American has the right to be registered to vote, regardless of their voting activity.

"Inactivity alone should not be used to remove eligible voters from rolls," Grimes said in a statement. "Every American should be leery of and oppose policies that make it harder for any citizen to vote because such policies are antithetical to our democracy."

The high court will hear oral arguments in the case on November 8.