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Secretary Husted Files Brief, Urges Court to Reject Attack on Ohio’s Voter Rolls Maintenance Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted yesterday filed an opening brief in the case of Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, et al. v. Jon Husted in his official capacity as the Secretary of State of Ohio. The case, Case No. 2:16-cv-00303, will require plaintiffs to file opposition briefs by June 10, 2016 and defendants will then have until June 17, 2016 for reply briefs. This case is before Judge George C. Smith of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.

In the brief, Secretary Husted noted that the lawsuit filed against the state’s 22-year-old federally required voter list maintenance process  is without merit and that it is easy to vote and hard to cheat in Ohio.

The following quotes are excerpts from the 35-page filing. The full brief is attached.

“In 1994, Ohio changed its voter list maintenance procedures specifically to comport with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (the “NVRA”), which was signed into law on May 20, 1993 and took effect on January 1, 1995.  For the past 22 years, through the tenures of four different Secretaries of States and both Democrats and Republicans, Ohio has used the two-part system that it adopted in 1994.”
Defendant’s Brief, Page 1

“The NVRA specifies that registrants cannot be removed from the official list of voters by reason of the failure to vote “except” that this general rule does not affect or preclude the NVRA Supplemental Procedure, which Ohio mirrors in the Ohio Supplemental Process.  Furthermore, neither the NVRA Supplemental Procedure nor the Ohio Supplemental Process removes individuals solely for failing to vote.  Both include mailing a confirmation notice to the voter.”
Defendant’s Brief, Page 2

“Ohio’s list maintenance processes are not simply a choice.  They are required.  In 2002, Congress passed and the President signed a law called the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (“HAVA”).  This law reinforced that States are required to follow the NVRA list maintenance procedures…”
Defendant’s Brief, Page 2

“Ohio roll maintenance is working.  While Ohio is maintaining the integrity of its voting roll with list maintenance procedures, the number of registered voters in Ohio is also increasing.  By way of example, Ohio was one of five States with the largest registration increases between 2008 and the 2012 general election.”
Defendant’s Brief, Pages 8 & 9

“Despite the efforts of States to update their registration lists, inaccurate voter rolls remain a significant problem in the United States.  According to research conducted by the Center for the States of the Pew Charitable Trusts (“Pew”), published in February 2012, approximately 24 million active voter registrations throughout the United States are either no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate.”
Defendant’s Brief, Page 11

“In 2009, the Brennan Center for Justice published a lengthy report about election procedures in Ohio. The report, among other things, “prioritiz[ed] issues based on the need for reform…”  The report did not designate the Ohio Supplemental Process as an area for reform.  Importantly, the report was “endorsed” by one of the lawyers for Plaintiffs (Daniel Tokaji), and a Senior Policy Analyst at Demos (Demos is also counsel to Plaintiffs) was one of “academics, advocates and individuals in the media that participated in [the Brennan Center’s] interviews…”
Defendant’s Brief, Page 12

“Ensuring that elections are legitimate, without fraud, and have verifiable results is an essential component of our electoral process, and maintaining the integrity of the voter registration roll furthers these goals and enhances the public’s confidence in the election process.”
Defendant’s Brief, Page 14

Additional Information: 

Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, et al. v. Jon Husted Brief

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For more information, please contact Joshua Eck at (614) 466-2729

Media Inquiries

Sam Rossi
Press Secretary
srossi@ohiosecretaryofstate.gov
(614) 466-2729
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