Voting Rights | WOSU Radio

Voting Rights

Jay LaPrete / Associated Press

Do you have to vote even if you don't want to? Not doing so could put you on the path to losing your vote in some states.

On Monday at 10 a.m., the Supreme Court might release opinions in a number of significant cases on this year's docket, deciding the fate of President Trump's travel ban, public sector unions and political redistricting — among other possibilities.

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court may decide a case that could change how Ohio removes people from voter rolls. The court heard arguments in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute in January. 

Federal law lays out a process for taking people’s names off the registered voter list if they have moved to a new address and haven’t updated election officials.

Political brawls over voting laws have consumed states across the country for the past decade. But below the surface, a movement to automatically register eligible voters to vote is rapidly gaining traction. By next year, more than a quarter of all Americans will live in states where they no longer have to fill out registration forms in order to cast a ballot.

Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

Swing states, and even individual precincts within those states, present a significant point of vulnerability when it comes to the threat of election interference because of their potential to impact the result in a presidential race, the current secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and one of her key predecessors both told senators Wednesday.

Voters cast ballots at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus on the first weekend of in-person early voting.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Republican state lawmakers say they have a plan to give Ohio’s 88 counties millions of dollars to replace thousands of voting machines that were bought more than a decade ago. The new machines could be ready in time for the 2020 presidential election.

Columbus Unitarian Church Rev. Marian Stewart speaks during a press conference at the Ohio State House.
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

Activists for low-income Ohioans say they are stepping up lobbying and protesting for change. It is one of 30 campaigns being waged throughout the country.

Erin Clark / WOUB

Almost a year to date after the 2017 Women’s March, Central Ohio women are taking to the street once again. On Saturday, as part of a national day of protest, a “Power to the Polls” march will begin at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and end at the Statehouse.

Oak Harbor Mayor Joe Helle (left) and Secretary of State Jon Husted spar outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the arguments in Husted v. APRI.
DOREYSCHEIMER / Twitter

The U.S Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case challenging Ohio’s controversial method for maintaining its voter rolls, and the major players from the case were there to hear it.

Jay LaPrete / Associated Press

Ohio officials and civil liberty advocates are in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday for a U.S. Supreme Court case that could have implications for how several states update their voter rolls.

Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided Wednesday over whether Ohio's so-called use-it-or-lose-it voter registration rule violates federal law.

Ohio, which has the most aggressive voter-purge system in the country, currently strikes voters from the registration rolls if they fail to vote in two consecutive elections — and if they fail to return a mailed address confirmation form.

Joseph Helle

Former Army Sgt. Joseph Helle didn't realize something was wrong until he was at his polling place.

M.L. Schultze / WKSU

Ian Yarber, a former Oberlin school board member, considers himself a knowledgeable voter. He lives at the northeast end of Ohio’s 4th Congressional District, which stretches south and west nearly to the Indiana border.

All eyes were on the Alabama senate race this week. But there was also a legal battle over whether to keep digital ballot images or delete them.

Jay LaPrete / Associated Press

More than a quarter of Ohio’s registered voters didn’t cast ballots last year, and for some of them, that could have been one inactive election too many. Ohio has been removing voters who haven’t cast ballots over a period of six years – unless they contact their Board of Elections during that time.

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