Ohio is making national news for all the wrong reasons (again) this week, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted’s aggressive purging of millions of eligible Ohio voters from the rolls.
Purging lawfully registered voters does nothing to stop voting fraud — which is virtually non-existent in Ohio as Husted himself has admitted. There are far better ways to identify voters who have left the state or passed away. Husted’s purging of 2 million voters has only made it harder for Ohioans to vote and leads to long lines and confusion on Election Day.
Republicans know what they’re doing with voter purges and strict voter ID laws. Analyses have revealed that the purging process has made it harder to vote for certain kinds of citizens — seniors, veterans, people of color, college students. Not coincidentally, many of these groups also happen to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.
Democrats believe our democracy works better when more people participate. We’ve never solved a problem with less democracy. Republicans want fewer people to vote. They want to make it harder to vote, and that’s what’s happening with these voter purges.
With the Supreme Court debating this issue this week, we Ohio Democrats have been highlighting how voter purging has impacted one Ohioan — veteran Joe Helle, who served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and returned from that service only to discover his right to vote had been taken away.
Ohio veteran @JoeHelle served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he came home, he tried to vote — but his registration had been purged, thanks to @OhioSOSHusted. Today #SCOTUS will hear oral arguments over Ohio’s aggressive voter purging policies. #StopThePurge #OHDEMS pic.twitter.com/drGiyHLFPi
— Ohio Dems (@OHDems) January 10, 2018
Helle confronted Husted outside the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday morning and instead of acknowledging the grave injustice inflicted upon this veteran, Husted literally turned his back and walked away. Typical.
BREAKING: @JonHusted confronted by Army veteran @JoeHelle (& mayor of Oak Harbor, OH) outside of #SCOTUS. Mayor Helle was illegally purged from the voting rolls while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan under Husted’s orders. Husted eventually just walked away from him. pic.twitter.com/CVRTH9eUnC
— Jay Riestenberg (@JayRiestenberg) January 10, 2018